The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Castello della Sala and…Castelle della Sala!

Posted on | March 22, 2016 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

Crystal 2014Local farmer’s markets are beginning to bring forth the first bounties of spring, and we are recalibrating our wine choices to match springtime’s tender produce. During the colder months I love a rich, meaty red that not only keeps me warm but also satiates the cravings for rich flavors and textures. Now that we are moving into spring, I have been reaching for more whites and light reds, I’ve been saving a variety of off-dry and sweet wines that pair well with a wide variety of dishes.

Today, I hand the microphone over to Umbria where Antinori’s Castello della Sala estate is located. Here, the Antinori family creates a range of delicious whites, elegant red offerings, and decadent sweet wines. All of these Umbrian wines possess the characteristics that has made us fall in love with Antinori’s wines time and time again. Rather than review the whole lineup, I am highlighting two beauties that have recently left me thirsting for more.

Castello della Sala 2013 Pinot Nero $59.99

This Pinot Noir offers a nod to Burgundy, and this 2013 is probably the most expressive I have tasted from Italy. Beautifully aromatic, the nose recalls delicate aromas that range from spices to floral notes of violets and roses to rich red berry fruit. The silky and polished palate is supple and tasty with elegant tannins, and the finish is long and balanced; the wine is already drinking well but it can certainly hang in the cellar if you have the patience. This is an ideal match with roasted pork, duck or a delicate pasta with fresh tomato and basil.

Castello della Sala 2008 Muffato Della Sala 1.5L $175.00

Muffato della Sala is a majestic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Grechetto, with touches of Semillon, Gewurztraminer and Riesling depending on the vintage. “Muffa” refers to the special rot or mold botrytis or “noble rot,” which affects grapes allowed additional hang-time and which draws out the moisture from the grape berries, allowing the sugars and flavors to concentrate. The resulting wine is nectar and ambrosia. Antinori produces its Muffato dellaSala in very limited quantities, and we are fortunate enough to get a range of vintages and bottle formats. This 2008, in magnum, offers tropical fruit and honey character and is perfect end to any meal. It also pairs very well with spicy seafood.

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