The name “Le Tense” originated during the domination of the Swiss Three Grey Legions from 1512-1797. The best vineyards were “tense”; protected by the guardians of the vines, the “arbostrari.”
Terroir: The Nino Negri Le Tense is sourced from 20 acres of vineyards from the top crus of the Sassella subzones of Minè, Longini and Chiesa Sassella which are home to some of Valtellina's oldest vineyards. Situated at elevations above 1200 feet these steep, terraced vineyards are made up of shallow, stony soils. Vines are very densely planted and yields are kept to a minimum.
Vinification: The ripe grapes are sorted and macerated for 4 days in temperature controlled tanks. Following fermentation the wine is aged for 18-20 months in a combination of large and small french oak casks. 70,000 bottles produced.
Le Tense shows the elegant, feminine style of Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo). A bright, medium ruby color is followed by a nose of bright fruit, earth and exotic spice. The wine is medium bodied on the palate with layers of fruit, and a firm, dry finish.
Score: 91 PointsVinous Author: Antonio Galloni
The 2013 Superiore Le Tense Sassella is soft and pliant, with lovely bright red fruit character, and terrific balance. Orange zest, sweet red cherry, mint and floral notes meld together effortlessly. I especially like the wines freshness, something that can at times be an issue with Valtellina reds. Veins of supporting tannin extend the finish nicely.
Score: 89 PointsWine Enthusiast Author: Kerin O'Keefe
Aromas of dark-skinned berry, French oak, wild rose and a whiff of Alpine herb lift out of the glass. Linear and tense, the taut palate offers dried cherry, cranberry, clove and a hint of espresso alongside a backbone of firm fine-grained tannins and bracing acidity.
Score: 90 PointsWine & Spirits Date: Saturday, July 1, 2017
This nebbiolo shows lovely balance in its flavors of crunchy red berries accented by notes of smoke and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. Its vibrant acidity and alpine freshness offer immediate pleasure with seared duck breast.
Score: 89 PointsWine Spectator Author: Alison Napjus
A bright and juicy red, light- to medium-bodied, with tar and spice accents to the plumped cherry fruit. Chewy finish. Drink now through 2021.
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