VINI BALGERA

1885, Chiuro, Italy

Taste of Valtellina

 

Mountainous vineyards of Valtellina
Underground cellar                Castle Grumello

Balgera is a boutique winery located in Chiuro, one of the wine growing villages of Valtellina area, in the region of Lombardy. The winery has a wine history dated back to 1885. Today,  Mr Paolo Balgera is the 4th generation wine maker. The winery offers classic old world styled highly fragrant Valtellina wines. These wines are made from the Chiavennasca variety, also known as Nebbiolo in Piedmont region. Valtellina is a vast mountainous area including few sub-zones. Balgera offers wines from these sub-zones, namely: Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella. These Valtellina Superiore wines have achieved DOCG status. Interestingly, the only white wine of IGT status is also made from the same red grape, and is a fruity and highly aromatic wine named Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio. A special wine called Sforzato is made from dried grapes. This is the region's acclaimed red wine of the highest quality. This wine is elevated to DOCG status in 2001.

The vineyards are cultivated on terracing, which are south facing. While protected from cold winds, they allow micro climate within valley for perfect ripening of grapes.

 
The Wines
 
Grape variety:  Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) for both white and red wines. 
This is a high tannin grape, with high extraction and high acidity.  Wines made from Chiavennasca display notes of tar, leather, dry herbs, with subtle minerals, dried fruits, cherry and strawberry characters.  A fine bottle of Valtellina wine is elegant and well structured, and tends to improve through long bottle ageing. 
 
 

         Drying of grapes

 

 
Ageing in big cask
                        The sub-zones of Valtellina
                       
 

Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Frizzante, IGT

70% Chiavennasca, 30% Pignola and Rossola Valtellinese blend. Fermentation at a controlled temperature and re-fermentation in pressurised vats for about 40/45 days. (Quick charmat method)
Pale straw-yellow colour with greenish hues, fruity, intense aroma with a slightly sweetish aftertaste. Created as an easy to drink wine, it is particularly suitable as an aperitif and is a splendid match to seafood and white meat.
 

Valtellina Superiore Sassella 2002

Sassella is popular among the sub-zones.  The name comes from a small church named "Sassella" in the Western village of Sondrio.  This wine has undergone 3 to 4 years of oak barrel ageing. This wine delivers the classic Valtellina, with flavours of raspberries and hint of hazel nut.  This is enhanced with layers of tar and herbs.  Well balanced and great with meat.

 
 
 

Valtellina Superiore Grumello 2002

This wine is named after a 13th century Grumello Castle, an iconic structure that overlooks the valley.  This wine has undergone 3 to 4 years of oak barrel ageing. This wine is characterised by elegance of violet perfume, with hints of orange peel, strawberry dry, fruit flavours.  Dry herbs characters linger on the palate with lasting finishing.

 

 

 
 

Valtellina Superiore Inferno 2004

Summer of vineyards in sub-zone Inferno is hot, and hence the name Inferno.  It is more robust, showing more plum jam fruit nose with added fragrance of violets.   This wine has undergone 3 to 4 years of oak barrel ageing.  The palate display smoke and toasty characters of nuts, dry fruit, tea and herbs.   

 

Valtellina Superiore Valgella 2001

This wine exhibits minerals with elegant nose of cherry with hints of  rose petals, hint of tar, mushroom and dry herbs.  This wine has undergone 3 to 4 years of oak barrel ageing. Palate is light to medium body with silky texture. Like all Balgera wines, decanting is necessary to reveal full potential.  A great food wine.

 
 

Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva 1999

Riserva wines are aged minimum 4 years in oak barrels.  2 years in large oak cask and 2 years in small oak barrels.  All done in the best tradition of Valtellina wines.  This Sassella shows more sensory complexity.  Excellant with all red meats, game and mature cheeses.

 
 

Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva 1999

Riserva wines are aged minimum 4 years in oak barrels.  2 years in large oak cask and 2 years in oak barriques.  All done in the best tradition of Valtellina wines.  This Grumello shows more spice and ageing complexity, with elegant integrated tannins on the palate .  Excellant with all red meats, game and mature cheeses.

 
 

Valtellina Superiore Inferno Riserva 2002

Riserva wines are aged minimum 4 years in oak barrels.  2 years in large oak cask and 2 years in small oak barrels.  All done in the best tradition of Valtellina wines.  This Inferno shows denser complexity of plum fruits with tinge of violets and cream .  Classic ageing flavours of Valtellina wines persist.  Excellant with all red meats, game and mature cheeses.

 
 

Valtellina Superiore Valgella Riserva 1999

Riserva wines are aged minimum 4 years in oak barrels.  2 years in large oak cask and 2 years in oak barriques.  All done in the best tradition of Valtellina wines.  This Valgella shows more sensory complexity.  Excellant with all red meats, game and mature cheeses.

 

Ca' Fracia 1999

Made from 100% Chiavennasca grapes specially selected from vineyards which are pure and highly prized. Aged 4 years in Oak. 2 years in large casks and 2 years in small barrels.  Ruby red colour, strong perfume of strawberry and raspberry bouquet. Classic dry fruit flavours, harmonious, well balanced texture and persistent finish.  Well cellared for years to achieve high stable quality.  Excellant with pastas, meat, poultry, and cheese.

 

 

Valtellina Sforzato Tradizionale 1999

Partial drying of Chiavennasca grapes in rush mats till January/February.  Specially selected from vineyards of exceptional quality.  3 years in oak barrels.  A deep ruby red colour with slgiht garnet edge, intense bouquiet, ethereal and very complex, clear overtones of faded violet and blackberry jam, full bodied taste, warm and long on the palate, very structured and velvety.

 

Valtellina Sforzato Barrique 1999

Similar to the Sforzato Tradizionale, this wine is made from partial drying of 100% Chiavennasca grape in rush mats till January/February.  Softly pressed and fermented with maceration on the skins for about 15/20 days.  The wines are fermented in medium toasted oak barriques which are then blended and aged in stainless steel vats.  Decanting is a must to showcase this exceptional complex wine.