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TENUTA SCERSCÉ

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TENUTA SCERSCÉ

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Driving North from Milan, one could easily be captivated enough to stop in one of the picturesque towns along Lago di Como and not venture any farther. Those who decide to continue on would come to understand, however, that the beauty of the region only increases and becomes more remarkable the closer one gets to the Swiss border where the Alps rise to staggering heights.  Tiny mountain villages dot the landscape, a veritable land of fairy-tale settings.  It’s easy to 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. 

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.  In 2018 UNESCO declared this region of tiny vineyards perched upon impossibly steep slopes and built into ancient terraces called muretti a World Heritage Site.  Some of the terraces date back to the middle ages and, if placed end to end, would stretch a distance of 1,500 miles long.  

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.  Tenuta Scerscé was born out of this dream and today produces three traditional wines of the region:  Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Valtellina Superiore DOCG and Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG – all from Chiavennasca.  

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.  In naming her winery, Cristina payed homage to the farming culture of the region, emphasizing the importance of the land. The sciarscél is a traditional two-pronged pitchfork used for small jobs on the ground around the shoot and roots of the vine.

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WINERY LOCATION: Tirano, Province of Sondrio, Valtellina, Lombardia
WINE REGIONS: Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG
VINEYARD LAND: 17.3 acres (7 ha) / 7.4 acres (3 ha) owned in Teglio (Valgella) & 9.9 acres (4 ha) leased Triano, Sassella, Inferno
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable & Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo)
WINE STYLES: Dry still red wines
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 39,000 bottles (29,971 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2008
OWNER(S): Cristina Scarpellini
WINEMAKER(S): Attilio Pagli

WINES

TENUTA SCERSCÉ "NETTARE" ROSSO DI VALTELLINA DOC

Rosso di Valtellina DOC is a good introduction to the wines of the Valtellina, the northernmost sub-zone in the Lombardy region. The vineyards are set against the backdrop of the Rhaetian Alps, at altitudes of up to 700 m.a.s.l. Tenuta Scerscé "Nettare" Rosso di Valtellina is 100% Nebbiolo, locally known as Chiavennasca.  A little lighter and less tannic than its counterpart in Piemonte, "Nettare" is fermented and aged in stainless steel and cement tanks.  As the first wine produced after the vintage, it is a "nectar" dedicated to everyone and all occasions.

TENUTA SCERSCÉ "ESSENZA" VALTELLINA SUPERIORE DOCG

Valtellina Superiore DOCG are among Lombardy’s most prestigious wines. The vineyards for the Tenuta Scerscé "Essenza" Valtellina Superiore DOCG are fragmented throughout Teglio and Villa di Tirano, planted on rock terraces, some of which were constructed over centuries ago. Often less than one acre in size, the plants are positioned in the traditional "rittochino" method which connect each vineyard through stone stairs. "Essenza" Valtellina Superiore is 100% Nebbiolo (Chiavennasca) fermented in stainless steel and aged in second passed 50 HL oak casks for 24 months. The wine exhibits the "essence" of Valtellina - a great harmony between tannic structure, fruit and freshness.

TENUTA SCERSCÉ "INFINITO" SFORZATO DI VALTELLINA DOCG

"Sforzato" (Sfursat) is the most well-known and oldest of the Valtellina wines.  The term Sforzato translates to “strained” and the method in which the grapes are forced through (s)forzatura delle uve to obtain greater concentration. Similar to Amarone, the Nebbiolo grapes are late-harvested in October and left to dry in boxes for two months - usually on the upper floors of the winery.  The cool Alpine winds and the “La Breva” breezes from Lake Como aid in an even drying process. The “appassimento” method concentrates the sugars and results in a wine with more body and alcohol.  The name “Infinito” evokes the potential of this wine and its incredible length, elegance and body.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Tirano, Valtellina

VINEYARD:
Tirano, Sassella, Inferno and Teglio (Valgella)

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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94
JANUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Infinito" Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2017

This is really something, showing all the depth and intensity of a top nebbiolo with strawberry, light cherry, stone and floral aromas. Some spice and dried fruit, too. It’s medium-bodied with fine tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Burnt-orange undertone. Shows intensity and depth. Drink after 2023.

95
APRIL 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Infinito" Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2016

"A stunning rendition of Nebbiolo with a medium ruby color. Rich and deep yet silky and elegant, refined and lovely.

94
JANUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Essenza" Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2017

Wow. Gorgeous aromas of dried strawberries, mushrooms and flowers that open to pure fruit. It’s medium-bodied with beautiful depth and intensity on the palate. The fine, layered tannins are polished and caressing. Lovely finish. Drinkable now, but even better in 2023.

91
FEBRUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Essenza" Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2017

DISCOVERING VALTELLINA PLUS 10 TOP PRODUCERS WORTH KNOWING

As in most of Italy, Valtellina’s summer was exceptionally hot and dry in 2017. Rain finally arrived at the beginning of September and the region’s signature breezes continued through October, keeping the grapes healthy. Attractive perfumes of wild thyme and delicate meadow blossoms waft from the glass. Taut and mid-weight, this bursts with dark forest berries, citrus and minerals. Fine tannins cleanse the palate and lend textural complexity. There is sufficient depth to carry it through another five years. Drinking Window 2021 - 2025

92
FEBRUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Nettare" Rosso di Valtellina DOC 2018

The bouquet is elegant and streamlined, but this wine really comes alive in the mouth with fresh acidity and a zesty sense of energy derived from delicate berry aromas. A great value wine, the Tenuta Scersce 2018 Rosso di Valtellina Nebbiolo Nettare opens to a lean and compact appearance with wild berry, violet, crushed stone, licorice and some iron ore, while the finish is tart and crisp. It would be great with sliced pears and cheese. But as they say here in Lombardy: "Al contadino non far sapere quant'è buono la Gorgonzola con le pere." (Translation: Never let the farmer know how good it is to taste Gorgonzola with pears.) This was a wonderful release of 16,200 bottles.

91
FEBRUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Infinito" Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2017

DISCOVERING VALTELLINA PLUS 10 TOP PRODUCERS WORTH KNOWING

Infinito comes from vineyards at breezy heights of 550 to 720 metres and is a selection of the best bunches from 40- to 60-year-old vines. Grapes are picked in the first week of October and dried until the beginning of December. It exudes ripeness with prune and fig on a background of chocolate and chai spice. Soft, plush fruit upfront gains nuance from an exotic mix of botanicals and is shored up by caressing tannins. Well proportioned and balanced. Drinking Window 2021 - 2026

92
JANUARY 2021
Tenuta Scerscé "Nettare" Rosso di Valtellina DOC 2018

A fresh, fruity red with orange and lemon undertones. Lightly candied cherries, too. Light body. But there’s subtle complexity. Some crushed stone. Really bright. Drink now