When US wine importer Della Terra add a wine to their portfolio, you know they mean business. Widely considered to be the oracle when it comes to Italian wine, their Portfolio boasts the likes of Vietti, Casanova di Neri and Scaia to name just a few. In fact, its pretty rare for them to add new producers to the list, because hey, why mess with perfection. But, when they tried the wines from Tenuta Scersce in the not too distant past, they new they couldn't miss the opportunity to bring this producer on board.
Boutique production Nebbiolo out of Lombardy, the winery started out as a hobby for International Business Lawyer, Cristina Scarpellini and fast grew into an obsession. She left law and took on winemaking full time. She now makes 3 wines out of Lombardy, all from Nebbiolo or Chiavannesca as it is locally known.
This wine, the Essenza, is the most classic style of Valtellina wine. From the more prestigious Valtellina Superior DOCG, it receives a little more time in oak and ageing to soften the more serious tannic structure. The wine is everything you love about Nebbiolo, lifted aromatics, firm tannins and racy acidity. As the name would suggest, for Scarpellini this wine is the essence of Valtellina. If you're a lover of all things Nebbiolo, get yourselves a bottle (or 6).
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.
Absolutely screaming spicy sour cherry jam. The Essenza holds great flavour and still keeps amazing finesse with subtle floral and fennel notes express in the nose and pallet. A good bottle to impress with or get a little greedy and keep it to yourself.
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.