This week, we had our first tasting for our new producer to-be, Mamete Prevostini. They are a small family producer from northern Italy, making 100% Nebbiolo wines. We have already decided to add them to our selection, but we held an extra tasting to get some confirmation for our thoughts regarding the mix. We were not disappointed as our brave tasters gave us great feedback for making our decision. The wines will now be ordered (as soon as our new warehouse deal is signed), and they will be available (hopefully) for purchase in the end of April.
What is special about the Mamete Previstini (and other Valtellina) wines is that the grapes are grown in a cooler climate than is usual for nebbiolo. The grape is indigenous to Piedmont. Which is not far, but modestly lower ground than Valtellina, Lombardia, where Mamete Prevostini have their vineyards. If you recall my post on grape-love for nebbiolo (link), nebbiolo ripens very late in the season and is harvested in October. So the cooler climate in Valtellina has a clear impact on the grape characteristics. The wines lack the same dark fruit punch due to the cooler temperatures that make it challenging for this very late-maturing variety to reach optimal ripeness. What they lack in power and harmony, however, they make up for in finesse, aroma and earthy concentration. Further, they typically hit more attractive price points, which makes them worth checking out.
Although wines from Valtellina are in general of high quality, look for Valtellina Superiore DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) wines from these five subregions: Grumello, Inferno, Maroggia, Sassella and Valgella. They have slightly different characteristics ranging from fruit forward and aromatic Grumello to the most delicate, perfumed expression from Valgella. We will have in our selection a Grumello Inferno and a Sassella. Another speciality of the region is Sforzato. The winemaking process is similar to Veneto’s Amarone. The wines are made by drying out the grapes until they are raisins and their sugars are concentrated. All of the sugar is allowed to convert to alcohol resulting in a wine that is totally dry and high in high alcohol levels. Usually around 14%. As with Amarone, the final result is a rich and almost syrupy.
What will these wines cost then? We will take in some of the mid and higher-level wines. We have now learned that the entry-level wines we have just don’t sell. Probably due to the low price difference to the better wines that are of much better quality. If you taste them side by side as people in our tastings do, they always end up splurging on the more expensive ones. And t be honest, there we can offer much better value for money. Our wines will range from 199 kr to 329kr a bottle. It is the Sforzatos that have a price point above 300kr and they will perhaps be sold as individual bottles via the monopoly. Lets see what we end up with, we will anyway take some boxes in.
So there you go, a quick introduction to Valtellina and our new producer Mamete Prevostini. Stay tuner to hear when they are in the shop for purchase. The next opportunity for a tasting is on the 21st of May, when we have our big open house. So if you are excited to try the nebbiolos, block you calendar already now.