You’ll recall our previous Bettini releases from Valtellina – elegant, beautiful wines reared from treacherous mountainside terraces carved over hundreds of years.In a nutshell, Sfurzat and Sforzato are Valtellina Concentrated.
The grapes are harvested and air-dried apassimento style, similar to an Amarone della Valpolicella. The nameSfurzatcomes from the Italian word for “straining”, sforzare, and is meant to convey the concentration resulting from drying the grapes. Both wines were awarded the DOCG designation in 2003 and you can read more about the entire process at the link above. The wines are only made in the finest vintages.
I was blown away by these wines at the end of my tasting with the Bettini’s at VinItaly last Spring.My notes are pretty hilarious actually, multiple asterisks, exclamation points and A+ scores.
So, I encourage you to just ignore the simply god-awful name (sorry Valtellina, but Sfurzat just doesn’t hold a candle to the beautifully pronounced Amarone della Valpolicella), and take a flyer on these. If you like Amarone, or are simply looking for another adventure in wine, I think you’ll find them incredible compelling.They are fascinating to consume now, but will age gracefully for many decades to come.
The wines are not inexpensive but, given the 40% production loss and the amazing results, I think you’ll find they are quite reasonably priced. Especially when you consider the tiny yields, insane hillside terracing and several-hundred-case productions (not to mention all the new French oak for the Sfurzat).
2018 Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG– air-dryed a bit longer than the Sforzato and fermented in January, the Sfursat spends 15-months in standard French oak barrels, about 30% new. Again, 2-years is required in bottle before release.
A little lighter in color than the Sforzato, the Sfursat is wickedly complex and more-Barolo-like with its robe of new oak. Pungent in the glass with bourbon, tar, leather and chocolate notes dominating the bouquet. The Alpengarrigue, spice cherry candy and powdered florals start to emerge with air. Again, there is clearly more here than meets the nose – this is just a baby. Broad-shouldered, dense and muscular on the palate with ripe, chewy tannins enthralled in a densely-packed amalgam of oak, fruit, and mineral structure. Tightly wound and potent, the wine nevertheless resolves elegantly and with tremendous length and persistence. Fantastic stuff with impeccable balance and harmony despite its robust amplitude.
100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) di Valtellina
Aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 15-months
2-years in bottle before release
40 cases available