From: Valtellina, Italy
Blend: 80% Nebbiolo, 17% Chardonnay, 3% local varietals
Taste: This is a bright and refreshing wine that showcases Nebbiolo characteristics and alpine Valtellina valley breezes… in a white wine! On the nose, there are aromas of lemon, green apple, and white flowers, with a subtle hint of wet stone minerality. On the palate, the wine is crisp and dry, with a medium body and refreshing acidity. Flavors of lemon and green apple dominate, with a slight herbal note in the background. The wine has a long and refreshing finish that leaves a pleasant, citrusy and mineral aftertaste.
Pairing: This crisp and refreshing white wine would be a great match for a variety of dishes. Its lively acidity and citrusy flavors would make it a natural pairing for seafood, particularly shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels. The wine's herbal notes would also complement dishes that feature fresh herbs, such as a simple pasta dish with lemon and basil- or our featured recipe below. Try it with a plate of pizzoccheri, a hearty dish of buckwheat noodles, cabbage, and potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce. The wine's acidity would cut through the richness of the dish, while its herbal and citrus notes would complement the flavors of the cheese and vegetables.
For vegetarians, this wine would be a great match for dishes that feature fresh vegetables and herbs. Try it with a salad of mixed greens, topped with roasted beets, goat cheese, and a simple vinaigrette. The wine's acidity would balance the sweetness of the beets, while its herbal notes would complement the tanginess of the cheese.
Green Gnocchi With Peas and Fresh Sage Butter
By David Tanis
About. Nebbiolo, the same grape used to make Barolo and Barbaresco, the powerful, structured red wines with rich complexity from the Langhe region of Piemonte, can also be made into a white wine. The 2019 Pietra Nera La Novella Bianco Alpi Retiche IGT is a crisp, dry, refreshing white wine produced by Casa Vinicola Pietro Nera in the Valtellina region of Italy, not far from the Swiss border.
It is believed that Nebbiolo, locally known as “Chiavennasca”, originated in Valtellina and moved to Piemonte over time. The Adda River valley runs west to east, a channel for breezes coming from Lake Como to its west. Nebbiolo grows on steep, southward facing slopes, getting lots of sun exposure with the cooling influence of the breeze.
The red wines made from Nebbiolo in Valtellina are different from their cousins in Barolo and Barbaresco. With the climate, it ripens later, allowing the tannins to soften. This softer expression has the floral, herbal, and red fruit characters of a Barolo but is more approachable (and affordable) for most wine drinkers. The Sforzato style is made using partially dried grapes, like an Amarone. This is a rare combination of power and elegance.
The 2019 Pietra Nera La Novella Bianco Alpi Retiche IGT is made using the same grape, Nebbiolo, as the red wines of Valtellina but is fermented as a white wine. The juice is pressed from the skins and seeds and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine is 80% Nebbiolo, blended with 17% Chardonnay and 3% local varietals.
The Nera family is now in the 3rd generation of winemaking. Started by Guido Nera in 1940, and built into prominence by Pietro Nera (affectionately known in the family as “Papa Pietro”), it is now run by brothers Stefano and Simone and sister Angela. Stefano is the winemaker and leads oversight of the vineyards, with clone selection, training, and vine management as key decisions that have to be made. Simone looks after the business interests. Angela looks after bookkeeping.
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