The soil here is sandy and quick-draining. Vines dig roots into the cracks in rocks beneath the shallow soil.Winemaker Casimiro Maule, a Trento native, began at the estate since 1971 and has worked there his entire professional life. In 2007, he was named Winemaker of the Year by the Italian wine magazine Gambero Rosso.
The winery is located in a 15th century Quadrio castle. The cellar below holds over 1,500 new French barriques, along with some American barrels and some smaller barrels. Their specialty is a wine made from grapes that are air-dried for 100 days before pressing, known as Sfursat (“strained”). The results are an intense and opulent wine in the style of an Amarone with the elegance and complexity of a Barolo. The 5 Stelle Sfursat is the flagship wine of Nino Negri made from 100% hand-picked Nebbiolo. After drying, the grapes undergo a long maceration before being aged for 18 months in new French barriques and 6 months in bottle. Le Tense is a Nebbiolo wine produced from grapes grown in the Sassella sub-zone. The grapes undergo a short maceration before being aged in a variety of oak barrels for 20 months and in bottle for 4 months. Sfursat Carlo Negri is aged for 22 months in French oak casks after the traditional drying period. The Vigneto Fracia is a single-vineyard wine from the estate’s top vineyard that was planted in 1922. The wine is produced from 100% Nebbiolo grapes harvested slightly overripe. The wines are vinified and aged in French oak barriques.
Nino Negri Arriving in December
Nino Negri Sfursat 5 Stelle, Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2010 ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “A graceful red, with polished tannins and delicately knit layers of ripe black cherry and damson plum fruit, cured tobacco and accents of ground anise and mocha. Light grip graces the aromatic finish. Drink now through 2029.” WS
Nino Negri Le Tense, Valtellina Superiore Sassella DOCG 2010 ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points “The dried fig and strawberry fruit notes are set with plush tannins and juicy acidity in this expressive red, as well as accents of rose hip, dried marjoram and graphite. Shows lovely balance, with good intensity on the finish. Drink now through 2027.” WS
Nino Negri Sfursat, Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
From the winery: “Produced from 100% Nebbiolo (Chiavennasca) grapes, picked by hand in the zones of Valtellina and Valtellina Superiore. Drying for 3 months is followed by vinification on their skins with a long maceration. After a short stay in steel, the new wine ages for 22 months in French oak casks.”
Nino Negri Vigneto Fracia, Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2010 ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 90 points “Floral and tobacco notes lead the way in this light-bodied version, with supple tannins. Tangy acidity backs flavors of macerated mulberry and plum fruit, incense and iron. Drink now through 2020.” WS
Pre-Arrival Flash Sale Ends Tonight at 12:01
Case-12 Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable 2010 ($479.95) $366 pre-arrival special (that’s just $30.50 per bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “Slightly superior, revealing more minerality and a subtle, incremental building of flavor intensity, the 2010 Gigondas Terrasse du Diable offers lots of black raspberry, kirsch and floral characteristics along with an undeniable crushed rock minerality. Medium to full-bodied and elegant as well as impressively built, rich, pure and beautifully balanced, it can be enjoyed now and over the next 15 years.”
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Bright ruby-red. A complex, heady bouquet evokes candied red fruits, potpourri and Asian spices. Silky and seamless in texture, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and an exotic touch of blood orange. Anise and herb notes come up with air and carry through a long, bright and focused finish. I underestimated this sexy wine last year.”
The average listed price in the USA is $45 / bottle
Domaine Armand Rousseau
Domaine Armand Rousseau is revered as one of the grand old domaines of Burgundy, with 14 hectares (half Grand Crus), noble old vines, and a long history of fantastic winemaking. Armand Rousseau founded this famous Burgundy domaine, located in Gevrey, in the 1920s. He quickly established the domaine as one of the greatest in Burgundy, while continuing to expand his vineyard holdings.
Eric Rousseau, his grandson has taken over wine making responsibilities since 1982, along with many younger members of the Rousseau family. The simple principle of old vines and restricted yields dictates the Rousseau style and Eric has changed little in the cellars since taking over, producing finely structured wines of great elegance and longevity. Under the helm of Eric, Domaine Rousseau offers consistent quality across the range, including their three most rare and sough after wines: Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze and Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques, which are considered among the greatest wines in Burgundy.
Domaine Armand Rousseau Wines Arriving Late November
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru 2011 ($1499.95) $1,099 pre-arrival special
Burghound 95 points “A potently expressive nose blends both wood and natural spice together with distinctly cool, pure and ripe wild red berries, earth and underbrush. The palate impression is a gorgeous combination of power and refinement along with flat out superb complexity on the explosively long, focused and beautifully well-balanced finish. The supporting structure is dense but fine and this should prove to be a moderately long-lived example.” BH
The next best price is $1,195.
The average price is $1,262.
Burghound 96 points “This is completely different from the Bèze aromatically speaking as here the nose is brooding and recalcitrant and only aggressive swirling liberates fresh scents of spice, wet stone, game and dark berry fruits. There is outstanding richness to the powerful and impressively scaled flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract that imparts a velvety quality to the mid-palate while also buffering the tightly wound core of firm tannins on the driving mineral-inflected and hugely persistent finish. This is a stunner of a wine and one of the great wines of the 2011 vintage.” BH
The next best price is $1,129.
The average price is $1,401.
Stephen Tanzer & Burghound 89-92 points “(two-thirds from Mazoyeres): Good full medium red. Expressive nose melds redcurrant, mocha, rust, minerals and flowers, plus a suggestion of game birds. Sweet, smoky and nicely concentrated, with a musky quality to the complex flavors of redcurrant, smoky minerality, mocha and game. Finishes with supple tannins and excellent length. Very Gevrey.” ST
The next best price is $269.95.
The average price is $393.
Burghound 91-94 points “An overtly spicy and very earth nose of red currant, plum and wet stone scents. There is lovely richness to the round, full-bodied and highly energetic medium-bodied flavors that exhibit firm tannins on the saline-infused finish. This is excellent and should reward mid to longer-term cellaring.” BH
The next best price is $299.95.
Burghound 94 points “Discreet wood sets off ultra-fresh and airy aromas of red currant, blue berries and plum that are trimmed in hints of wet stone and earth. There is a wonderfully refined mouth feel to the mineral-tinged middle weight flavors that possess an appealing verve along with superb detail on the harmonious and exceptionally persistent finish. This very firm effort is textbook Clos St, Jacques.” BH
The next best price is $545.
The average price is $660.
Burghound 88-91 points “There is a touch of reduction to the nose that takes out the top part of the red berry fruit and earth aromatic profile. There is a restrained character to the cool and pure flavors that are supported by notably fine-grained tannins on the clean, balanced and ever-so-mildly austere finish.” BH
The next best price is $149.95.
The average price is $159.
Burghound 89-91 points “This is also reduced and here it’s enough to render the nose unreadable. There is plenty of energy and precision to the intensely mineral-tinged medium-bodied flavors that possess an elegant mouth feel on the youthfully austere finish. A classic Lavaut that should reward 8 to 10 years of cellar time.” BH
Burghound & Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “Mild reduction removes the top notes of the otherwise complex and distinctly earthy mix of red and dark fruit aromas. There is excellent power and punch to the lightly mineral-tinged middle weight plus flavors that possess plenty of underlying tension before culminating in a markedly animale finish. This is very Mazis in basic character.” BH
The next best price is $415.
The average price is $419.
Domaine Armand Rousseau Available Here Now
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 ($499.95) $399 special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 91-93 points “This is much more deeply pitched than usual with notes of earth and violets and while there are traces of red berry aromas, this hails more from the dark berry side of the fruit spectrum. There is excellent volume to the very rich and round middle weight plus flavors that possess a velvety mouth feel on the focused and impressively long finish. This also exhibits more depth of material than it usually does and this is one of the better Rousseau Charmes of recent years.”
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru ‘Clos des Ruchottes’ Monopole 2010 ($799.95) $619 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The 2010 Ruchottes-Chambertin is an intensely cool, reticent wine. The bouquet recalls the Mazis, but then the firm Ruchottes tannins set in. Ultimately the Ruchottes is built on purity, definition and nuance. The chiseled aromas and flavors possess stunning detail, but it will be some time before the 2010 is ready to drink. Still, I very much like the energy and drive. Bright, floral notes add lift and vibrancy on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045.”WA
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru ‘Clos des Ruchottes’ Monopole 2011 ($699.95) $519 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “Bright, deep color. Wild, musky, ripe dark berries, black cherry and botanical herbs on the captivating nose. Dense and sappy, offering an exhilarating high-wire act of sweetness and acidity. Complex flavors of black raspberry, licorice and game birds. Seriously concentrated, expressive grand cru with great purity and round, mouth-saturating tannins. In its tension and fruit persistence, this is close to a 2010 in style; the same could be said for Rousseau’s Mazy-Chambertin and Clos de la Roche.” ST