2021 Tenuta Scerscé, Chiavenasca (Nebbiolo) “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina DOC, Lombardy, Italy.
The new vintage of Tenuta Scerscé’s “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina DOC is brightly fresh and slightly lighter in form to their 2018 version that I first tried last year, but still is a delicious, easy to love red fruited, medium bodied and spicy Nebbiolo, or Chiavenasca as it is called locally, that I enjoyed very much recently. This juicy ruby/brick hued “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina shows off pretty rose petals, mineral, brambly raspberry, strawberry, macerated cherry and tree picked tangy plum, along with baking spice, anise, grilled orange and delicate savory/earthy tones with a silky viscosity and soft tannin structure. Again, not as deep or with the concentration that the 2018 had, it still makes for a rewarding wine and it is wonderful and flexible with a good range of cuisine choices, this 2021 can be slightly chilled and used for picnics or outdoor dinning in warm Summer days. Made from 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo), this wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel and cement tanks, with a short maceration and maturing period to promote clarity, it is a wine to be enjoyed young and is a great gateway example to introduce you to Lombardy’s Valtellina region. Valtellina, the northernmost sub-zone in the Lombardy region is home to steep terraced vineyards that are set against the backdrop of what they call the Rhaetian Alps, at altitudes of up to 700 meters above sea level, making it one of the most distinctive terroirs in all of Italy. These vines see a lot of sun, but also get very chilly nights, which all combines to give the Nebbiolo based wines here depth, complexity and balance, are they are uniquely different from their cousins in Piedmonte, there is also a version that sees an Amarone style winemaking method with the grapes getting dried on straw mats and extended barrel aging.
Tenuta Scerscé was founded by Cristina Scarpellini, a lawyer, who turned her dream of owning and running a Valtellina winery into reality when she agreed to rent an acre of vineyards from a viticolore client she had in this remote alpine area back in 2008. As noted before, at that time, according to her importer Dalla Terra, Cristina was an international business lawyer and the one acre of vines was only a hobby endeavor, but It didn’t take long for Cristina to understand the potential of this project and she transitioned out of her law practice and moved to Valtellina to make this adventure her full-time job. Tenuta Scerscé today with winemaker Attilio Pagli is producing a full range of offerings, including a Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG and this “Nettare” Rosso di Valtellina DOC, which is an exciting wine and a great value. As noted in my prior reviews, Valtellina, in Italy’s Lombardy region, is set on glacial formed sandy granitic soils with clay, loam and gravel, and located near the Swiss border where the Alps rise to staggering heights with tiny mountain villages, 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. Valtellina is an exceptional terroir, which is unarguably one of the most dramatic landscapes in Italy and home to some of the most extreme vineyards in the country if not the whole world. In 2018 UNESCO, the winery adds, declared Valtellina, with its of tiny vineyards perched upon impossibly steep slopes and built into ancient terraces called muretti, a World Heritage Site. Some of these terraces date back to the middle ages, it seriously looks more like the steep Mosel than you can imagine, this is a seriously old wine region, though very isolated and off the beaten path. I am fast becoming a big fan of this winery and recommend searching out the Scerscé wines.
($33 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive