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Photo Credit: www.cabianche.it/

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Michaela Morris investigates the small and under-the-radar alpine valley of Valtellina in Italy’s northern Lombardy region and implores lovers of Nebbiolo to seek out these intense, finely-etched and mineral-laden wines.

10 Valtellina wine producers to know:

La Perla

Marco Triacca belongs to the Triacca clan, which gives its name to one of Valtellina’s well known brands. After finishing up his winemaking studies in 2008, he decided to establish his own estate with a small plot that had previously gone into Triacca’s wine. He christened it La Perla, or the pearl, which was his mother Elisa’s nickname – she passed away prematurely that same year.

Today the vineyards extend over 3.3ha in one contiguous piece – almost unheard of in Valtellina. Besides three Valtellina bottlings, Marco crafts a traditional-method sparkling wine from the rare red Pignola grape.

Michaela’s top 20 Valtellina wines:

La Perla, La Mossa, Valtellina, Superiore, Lombardy, 2014

Tasted by Michaela Morris (at Cascina Monvigliero, Verduno, 01 Nov 2020)

Part of Discovering Valtellina plus 10 top producers worth knowing

91 Points

Representing half of the estate’s 20,000-bottle annual production, La Mossa is crafted from grapes picked in mid-October, after those destined for Sforzato but prior to the late-harvest selection for the Riserva. The 2014 sports a slim, elegant build. Evocative notes of sage, pine, black tea and moss grace the nose, with truffles and red currants joining in on the palate. Crunchy, racy acidity and dry, linear tannins beg for food – particularly hearty mountain fare.

Drinking Window 2021 – 2025

La Perla, Quattro Soli, Sforzato di Valtellina, 2014

Tasted by Michaela Morris (at Cascina Monvigliero, Verduno, 01 Nov 2020)

Part of Discovering Valtellina plus 10 top producers worth knowing

92 Points

In 2014, Marco Triacca risked making a Sforzato regardless of the cool, wet conditions. Besides a careful selection in the vineyard, he continued inspecting the grapes during the drying process, removing any berries that showed signs of mould. His work has paid off – though do expect a relatively lean, mid-weight Sforzato that is more savoury than sweet in character. Framed by powdery tannins, it is clean with an underlying freshness that compliments dried fruit nuances. Focussed fragrances of pot-pourri and a green mintiness persist throughout.

Drinking Window 2021 – 2027

 

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Click here to learn more about La Perla

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