Tenuta Scersce Infinito Sforzato di Valtellina 2018
Garnet-red color. A wine of great elegance, structure and character. Very fine and detailed scents, warm and spicy, rich with notes of berries, fruit in alcohol, cinnamon and pepper. Great softness and persistence, it fits perfectly with red meat, game and aged cheese.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Made with air-dried grapes, the Tenuta Scerscé 2018 Sforzato di Valtellina Nebbiolo Infinito opens to a medium-dark color and moderate fruit weight that feels velvety, rich and open-knit. The sforzato, or appassimento, process brings on extra heft and intensity for sure, but the Nebbiolo grape never loses its inner grace and poise. Aromas of dried rose, wild cherry, plum and sweet earth rise from the bouquet. A pretty layer of cured tobacco gives the wine a more fleshed-out feel on the close.
Valtellina is Italy’s only valley to run east to west and was carved by the glaciers that moved down the granite mountain slopes during the last ice age to the valley floor where the Adda river now runs east into Lago di Como and eventually into the Po river. It is unarguably one of the most dramatic landscapes in Italy and home to some of the most extreme vineyards in the world. You may feel like you’ve passed into Switzerland without knowing it when, in fact, you’ve ended up in Valtellina, the northernmost part of Lombardy that forms part of the border between Italy and Switzerland.
It’s easy to fall in love with this land and the landscape and there have, no doubt, been many people who’ve visited and then spent their days and nights dreaming up ways to take over a small plot of land to make wine from the local Nebbiolo grape, called Chiavennasca, which produces alpine red wines with personality, elegance and finesse. One such person is Cristina Scarpellini who turned the dream into reality when she agreed to rent an acre of vineyards from a viticolore client in Valtellina in 2008. At the time, Cristina was an international business lawyer and the one acre of vines was only a hobby endeavor. It didn’t take long for Cristina to understand the potential of this hobby and she transitioned out of law and moved to make it her full-time reality.
Today, Tenuta Scerscé has 7 ha (17. acres) of vineyards - 3 ha are owned in Teglio (Valgella) and 4 ha are leased (2 ha in Tirano, 1 ha Sassella, 1 ha Inferno) all planted to Nebbiolo, locally known as Chiavennasca. The vineyards range from 1500 – 2100 feet above sea level and are often less than a half-acre in size. They are planted on terraces held together by dry, stone retaining walls called muretti, some of which are over 1,000 years old. This historic architecture was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2018.
It's taken some years, but Cristina has dedicated her time and her vision to building a new winery, which is located in the eastern side of the Valtellina zone in Tirano. The Tenuta Scerscé logo and name comes from the name of a farming tool - a traditional, two-pronged metal pitchfork/hoe, called sciarscél. This tool is used for small jobs in the vineyard, tending to vine shoots and the roots, and demonstrated the wineries commitment to sustainable farming practices.
Christina works with famed Tuscan winemaker, Attillo Pagli, who joined the winery in 2016. Together they producer three traditional wines of the region: Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Valtellina Superiore DOCG and Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG.
Containing an exciting mix of wine producing subregions, Lombardy is Italy’s largest in size and population. Good quality Pinot noir, Bonarda and Barbera have elevated the reputation of the plains of Oltrepò Pavese. To its northeast in the Alps, Valtellina is the source of Italy’s best Nebbiolo wines outside of Piedmont. Often missed in the shadow of Prosecco, Franciacorta produces collectively Italy’s best Champagne style wines, and for the fun and less serious bubbly, find Lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. Lugana, a dry white with a devoted following, is produced to the southwest of Lake Garda.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.