Marchesi Antinori Castello della Sala 'Cervaro della Sala' Umbria IGT 2018 (1x75cl)
This is the Batard Montrachet of Italy with such and amazing depth and compression of beautiful fruit and chalk. Dried mango and dried green papaya. Full body, yet tight and focused. Energized acidity. Vibrance. Don't miss this one. A wine for now or in the future.
The 2016 Cervaro della Sala ushers forth with grace, beauty and finesse. The mouthfeel is thinner and more streamlined, but this is in large part intentional. I have written about this in the past: This celebrated Italian white has experienced a restyling effort to lighten and brighten it up. Harvest is executed a bit earlier in order to limit alcohol. The percentage of Grechetto was reduced to make more room for the freshness and natural acidity that comes from the increased Chardonnay component. Lastly, skin maceration times were tweaked and reduced from about eight hours in past vintages to four to six hours (at cooler temperatures) in this vintage. All of these changes work to reverse the textural heaviness and fruit maturity that, to many, feels out of date in today's wine market. The results are clear. This is a pristine and elegant interpretation with crisp notes of peach and tropical fruit followed by sharp mineral definition. Those salty flavors come from the Grechetto. The wine ferments and stays in oak for five months. This is a classic vintage that has produced a profoundly vertical and focused wine. I'm told that great efforts have been made to recreate this magic formula in 2017, despite the fact that vintage is much hotter and drier. For now, we have this beautiful wine to drink.
Reviewer Name: Monica Larner
Review Date: 6th September 2018