Why we love it
The Sforzato della Valtellina is a very little known, Italian red wine and appellation, even amongst Italians, due to its very limited production.
Sforzato, "forced" in Italian, indicates that Nebbiolo grapes from the Valtellina are let drying for about 3 months after being harvested to eliminate any residual water and concentrate the fruit, to enhance its aromas and flavours, hence the name. The process is very similar to the Amarone della Valpolicella or any appassimento wine, and compared to a Barolo, also made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes, the Sforzato della Valtellina has more fruit, softer tannins and higher acidity due to the Nebbiolo grapes being grown on the mountains of the Valtellina, north of Lombardy. The wine is then aged for 30 months in wood before being bottled.
We discovered this wine by chance at the Vinitaly, we were just walking around and decided to visit the booth of the producer, but after tasting it, we could not walk away from it. The Sforzato della Valtellina is a great red wine, full bodied, elegant, complex, with plenty of fruit, smooth, and just to confirm that we have a nose for great wines, a few months after we started importing it, the wine was awarded Gold medal at the Decanter Wine Awards. This wine is, together with the Amarone della Valpolicella, at the top of the Appasimento wines list.
This wine is a joy on its own, sip by sip, or with some mature cheese
The artisan who made it
Rivetti & Lauro is a dream come true. The Valtellina is a mountainous area with vineyards planted on terraces where everything is done manually, including harvesting, and in these mountains Rivetti & Lauro, two friends, decided to follow their dream and passion and making wine. The Nebbiolo is their main grape, Nebbiolo is a great grape that gives it best on these extreme climates, vinified in red and white, but are slowly introducing new grapes to be blended with the Nebbiolo to produce even more outstanding wines.
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