2014 Antinori "Cervaro della Sala" Chardonnay Umbria

SKU #1263006 96 points James Suckling

 This is the full treatment white from Italy and it always delivers. Aromas of cooked apple, cream, hints of toasted oak and peach. Full body, bright acidity, with tangy fresh fruit. Hints of yogurt and wood. Complex and truly great. Love the backbone of acidity that gives lovely form.  (3/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 *Smart Buys* There's density to this minerally white, with flavors of kumquat, white cherry, graphite, chamomile and ground anise framed by rapierlike acidity that creates a sleek, almost lean impression on the zesty finish. Like a young Chablis, this should develop nicely and show greater integration with short-term cellaring. (AN)  (2/2016)

Wine & Spirits

 Notes of smoked hazelnuts and vanilla accent this Chardonnay’s flavors of tart lemon and Bosc pear, with bright acidity that cleanses the finish.  (4/2016)

K&L Notes

From the famed Marchese Piero Antinori's Umbrian estate comes this delightful blend of modern and traditional, the Cervaro della Sala from the Castello della Sala. Made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Grechetto, the Cervaro della Sala was Antinori's first Chardonnay-based wine, introduced with the 1985 vintage. This wine has garnered many accolades including the coveted Three Glasses from Gambero Rosso. 98 Points Doctor Wine: Daniele Cernilli A famous French enologist during a blind tasting swore this was a Batard Montrachet but he could not identify where it came from, guessing it must have been a new producer. Instead, it was this Cervaro, a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Grechetto that ages in barriques for at least a year. The 2014 wine has less structure and more acidity while the color is less bright. The aromas range from flint to citrus fruit with some yellow plum sensations. The mouthfeel is saline, agile, fresh and very elegant with a subtle yet very long finish. In my view, this was the best vintage ever.

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Price: $49.99
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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2016 | Send Email
This is an outstanding wine that finally accomplishes all of the original intentions of this thirty year long project from Antinori. The idea here was to make an Italian chardonnay that would rival both California and Burgundian chardonnay, but what they needed was an expression that was uniquely Italian, not just a carrbon copy. With this 2014 vintage, not only has Antinori figured out the formula, they're knocked it out of the park. That little touch of 10% grechetto adds a lovely minerality to the wine's backbone and a hint of tarragon to the clean chardonnay flavors. The wine has richness, mid-palate structure, depth, and ageability. It's the whole package for fans of serious Italian whites.

By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2016 | Send Email
I have to admit two: I eat a lot of Italian food and I drink a lot of white wine. What I often struggle with, however, is how to take both of those enjoyments to the next level for a special occasion. I can always go out to Stella Alpina in Burlingame if I want a fine Italian meal, but what high-end Italian white do I bring for the occasion? I've got a cellar full of great Barolos, Brunellos, and various other interesting reds, but what do I break out when I need a stunner in the Italian bianco category? After months and months of revisiting the same old selections (verdicchio, soave, vermentino, etc), our buyer Greg put this bottle in my hand and told me to have fun. As a fan of white Burgundy, I was excited to find an Italian equivalent and I was not disappointed by the Antinori. It had everything I was looking for: nuance, clean flavors, underlying complexity, and just enough richness. It tastes expensive. Those of you looking for a next-level white for your next Italian dinner need look no further.

By: Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2016 | Send Email
A brilliantly intriguing wine. The nose begins with clean, bright citrus aromatics that has a hint of a richness hidden underneath. The first sip begins with great weight and develops into a leaner, crisper wine as it continues. The wine is extremely well balanced. A gentle, but mouthwatering acidity lifts the palate while a light underlining of minerality adds complexity without undermining the full body of the wine.

By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/19/2016 | Send Email
Burgundy From Umbria? Currently one of the best white wines of Italy, this offers complex aromas of cream, toasted oak, and is full-bodied, very rich, with loads of fruit enhanced by hints of wood and lots of minerality. Incredible length on the finish.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Umbria