The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Antinori and Latour-Giraud

Posted on | February 17, 2016 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

Michael Adler 5.29.15One of the coolest things about Chardonnay is that it can take on myriad shapes and forms depending on where it grows and how it’s made. The first wine I’m writing about today, the 2013 Cervaro della Sala from Castello della Sala, the Antinori family’s estate in Umbria, comes from the heart of Italy. Produced by the country’s pre-eminent winemaking family, it’s made in the style of the beloved Burgundy subzone of Meursault, which happens to be the home of our second wine today, Domaine Latour-Giraud’s 2013 Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières. These two wines come from strikingly different backgrounds—Antinori is a massive, dynastic group of wineries while Latour-Giraud is a very young estate that farms less than one percent of Antinori’s total acreage. However, these two wines have much in common stylistically—and it’s not just being insanely delicious!

Antinori 2013 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay $54.99

Last week we received our allocation of Antinori’s 2013 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay, an IWM client favorite. Every vintage of Cervaro impresses us for its balance, structure and stunning evocation of Umbrian terroir. Made in a Burgundian style that is reminiscent of a traditional Meursault, the ‘13 Cervaro is texturally stunning; it’s crisp and clean while at the same time round, lush and luxurious. 2013 was a relatively cool growing season, ideal for Chardonnay grapes, and this beautiful wine coats the palate in waves of citrus, orchard fruits, herbs and stony minerals. While this Cervaro is immensely enjoyable in its youth, the 2013 will also benefit from some additional time in bottle and continue to evolve over the next decade.

Domaine Latour-Giraud 2011 Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru $119.99

For years the IWM team has been blown away by the depth, complexity and outright power of Latour-Giraud’s wines. These satisfying Meursaults benefit from a telltale chiseled acidity that makes them precise and terroir-driven yet also texturally satisfying. Latour-Giraud produces some of the most extraordinary whites on the market, but these wines are made in very small quantities. We’ve seen reductions in crop size in every vintage since 2010, so while there isn’t much wine to go around, the wines have excellent concentration and depth of flavor. After three or four years in bottle, the estate’s 2011 Meursault Genevrières is profoundly delicious; apple and citrus fruits meld with secondary aromas of minerals, wet stone, white pepper and baking spices, all tied together by a round, gripping structure and lingering, mouth-watering acidity. Though it is in the midst of a beautiful drinking window right now, it will continue to evolve in the bottle for another five or seven years. Don’t miss out!

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