Sforzato di Valtellina

Sforzato di Valtellina (locally known as Sfursat di Valtellina) is a powerful red wine from the Valtellina district in the Italian Central Alps. It is a dry passito wine (made from partially dried grapes).

This brings it very much in line with Veneto’s Amarone della Valpolicella. The classic Sforzato di Valtellina wine is full-bodied, high in alcohol and rich in flavor.

Tasting Notes

Sforzato di Valtellina offers complex aromas of sweet spices (licorice, cloves and cinnamon), stewed plums, prunes, raisins, and the tell-tale hint of tar and roses which gives away its base ingredient, Chiavennasca (the Valtellinese name for Nebbiolo).

Winemaking Process

A minimum alcohol of 14%. Can’t be vinified until December the first.

The wine’s name (which can be written as either Sforzato or Sfursat on labels) is derived from the traditional method of (s)forzatura delle uve , literally the ‘forcing of the grapes’. This refers to obtaining a higher alcohol level and sugar concentration in the grapes via the process of drying.

Only the best grapes are selected for Sforzato production, any rotten or damaged berries must be removed as the drying process will only serve to concentrate their imperfections. The whole bunches are laid out on straw mats in well-ventilated cellars (aided by the region’s breva wind), where they remain for three or four months. During this time the fruit loses about 40% of its weight, mostly from water evaporation, which concentrates the berries’ natural sugars and effectively turns juice into sweet grapey syrup.

After fermentation, the wine spends two years maturing between barrel and bottle. The result is a rich, full-bodied red with intense concentration and an alcohol content of around 14.5%. Some winemakers have recently introduced smaller oak barrels to the process, leading to even more depth and complexity in these wines.

These are the two Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG Fab Wines import and distribute in the UK. We have a limited stock of other 4 Sforzato we are ageing. Do contact us if you need more information.

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