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Nino Negri Le TenseNino Negri InfernoThe latest issue of Wine Spectator sees two wines by Lombardy producer Nino Negri commended for their excellence.

The Valtellina Superiore Sassella Le Tense 2010 received a stellar 91 points, while the Valtellina Superiore Inferno 2010 received 89 points.

Le Tense is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes from the sub-zone of Sassella. After vinification on their skins, short maceration and a brief stay in steel, a quarter of the wine ages in large French oak casks for 20 months, while the remainder ages in French and American barriques for 4 months.

Described by Nino Negri as having a "dark, vivid ruby colour", the perfume is noted as being "complex, with a persuasive raspberry jam fragrance" as well as "wild rose and ripe amarena cherries".

In taste, it is notes as being "a full flavour, smooth but well sustained" with "pleasant undertones of prunes and persistant spices.

Ageing is recommended for 5 - 7 years and is perfect to serve with roast red meats and mature cheeses.

Inferno is produced from the smallest, hottest and steepest sub-zone of the Valtellina Superiore DOCG where the temperature varies enormously between day and night. This allows the nebbiolo variety to reveal its full potential and distinctive characteristics. The grapes are harvested manually, and following a slow fermentation, the wine ages for over two years in Slovenian and French oak barrels.

The colour is described as a "ruby red" with "garnet tints", while the perfume is "well pronounced" with "bitter spices (cloves, cinnamon), and plum jam".

Nino Negri note the flavour as being "dry, savoury and austere, harmonious with an elegant bitter finish of toasted hazelnut".

Overall, the Inferno is a "long-lived, firm, vigorous and well-structured wine", that should be aged for 5 - 7 years.

Arquilla congratulates our friends from Nino Negri for their well-deserved accolades.