The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Antinori and Querciabella

Posted on | March 30, 2016 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoLately I have been focusing on Super Tuscans, those Tuscan wines that don’t conform to DOCG laws. When we talk about Super Tuscan wines, we’re usually referring normally refer to red wines that producers often make with international varietals using modern forms of vinification to create a more international style. Super Tuscans tend to be big red wines, but we often forget that Super-Tuscan producers also make great white wines. I want to present two white Tuscan wines that are primarily Chardonnay-based. Chardonnay traces its origins to the Burgundy region of France; however the grape also thrives in Italy and expresses the place of origin with noticeable characteristics and its own personality. These two bottles come from great Super-Tuscan producers, Querciabella, a biodynamic estate, and Antinori, an ancient winemaking family; they’re terrific introductions to white grape Super Tuscans (although technically the Castello della Sala is a Super-Umbrian wine).

Castello della Sala 2013 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay $54.99

Cervaro della Sala is the flagship wine of Antinori’s Umbrian Castello della Sala estate, so you know it’s special. A blend of Chardonnay and Grechetto, an indigenous grape of Italy, the wine is fermented and aged in barriques and then matures in the bottles for ten months in the medieval cellars of the Castle. It shines a pretty yellow color and bursts with a nose full of citrus notes and sage. The palate is sharp and crisp with nice acidity balanced with stone minerality; the finish is round with traces of vanilla and a slight buttery note that lingers. Drink now to 2020.

Querciabella 2006 Batàr $89.99

An homage to white Burgundy, Querciabella’s Batàr is owner Guiseppe Castiglioni’s interpretation of Bâtard-Montrachet with an Italian twist.A blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Blanc, Batàr is very distinctive—and delicious. This full-bodied, elegant wine wafts with peaches, apples and hints of honeydew melon, followed by minerals and white flowers, all leading to slight hints of vanilla from the oak. The palate is full and clean with a nice, tart, tangy acidity that mellows out and finishes perfectly balanced. Drink now to 2020.

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