December 24, 2008

Quadrio Valtellina Superiore

Bill Dowd photo

Italian reds don't have to be "chewy," "edgy" or any other word typically used to describe many of them. Sometimes a good red wine is just a good red wine, like this smooth, fragrant aged blend.

Quadrio Valtellina Superiore 2004

The wine comes from the Nino Negri winery whose headquarters is the Castello Quadrio di Chiuro, which was owned by the governor of the Valtellina region in the 15th Century, thus the name "Quadrio."

This blend of chiavennasca (90%) and merlot (10%) grapes is aged 18 months in Slavonian oak, emerging with toasty wood notes and dried fruits. The garnet-colored wine has a floral, fruit bouquet and drops distinct notes of raspberries, currants and violets on the tongue.

It paired well in a dinner featuring roasted chicken stuffed with a hearty mixture of goat cheese, spinach, olive oil, smoked paprika and dried dill.

Suggested retail price: $25.

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