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The Wines of Umbria

Wines of UmbriaThough their contiguous positioning renders it difficult to discriminate between Umbria and Toscana, a condition that the latter’s fame exacerbates, Umbria is very much its own region—one that has been coming into its own zone and attracting the notice of both critic and consumer. Umbria traditionally privileged other product categories, though it has struggled to realize prime positioning in its favored specializations—truffles and olive oil. Its terroir, however, has always served it well: the collaboration between sea and mountain breezes realizes a classic context for ripening, while the volcanic soils put the vines under “motivational” stress. These conditions have been behind some of the zone’s most successful wines.
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Castello della Sala Muffato Della Sala 2010 500ml
Castello della Sala Muffato Della Sala 2010 500ml
Price: $44.99
Currently Unavailable

The cool, classic vintage of 2010 shows itself in the pervasive minerality that adds a piquant baseline to Antinori’s premier dessert wine, Muffato della Sala. Orchard and citrus fruits, crushed rocks, white flower petals, toasted nuts and a kiss of spice comprise the nose of this seductive wine, while the creamy, balanced palate derives energy from kicky acidity and an elegant mineral core. Derived primarily from grapes that have realized a considerable degree of concentration and been affected by noble rot, this sweet wine is intense and decadent. Regarded as the most accomplished in its class, Muffato della Sala is 60% Sauvignon Blanc blended with Grechetto, Traminer (also known as Gewurztraminer), and Riesling.
Castello della Sala Muffato Della Sala 2011 500ml
Castello della Sala Muffato Della Sala 2011 500ml
Price: $44.99

The 2011 growing year started cool and sunny but ended hot and dry, which led to a limited yield of healthy, concentrated grapes; the ’11 Muffato della Sala reflects its vintage in its lush aromatics, honeyed texture, and terrific balance. Juicy stone, succulent tropical, and zesty citrus fruits cavort with buttery toffee, saline minerals, pressed flower petals, and kisses of spice in this vibrant yet unctuous wine. Derived primarily from grapes that have realized a considerable degree of concentration and been affected by noble rot, this sweet wine is intense and decadent. Regarded as the most accomplished in its class, in 2011, Muffato della Sala is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Grechetto, Sèmillon, Gewürzraminer, and Riesling, fermented separately before blending and aging for ten months.
Paolo Bea Bianco Santa Chiara 2015 750ml
Paolo Bea Bianco Santa Chiara 2015 750ml
Price: $47.99

Rainier cherries, white stone fruits, and melon waft with savory minerals, toffee, licorice and white flower petals in this indescribable, opulent and spicy orange wine from Paolo Bea. 2015 saw a hot vintage in Umbria, and this wine reflects that heat with its generous, open-knit profile, but a sturdy mineral core and vibrant acidity keep it nimble and lively. Bea grows its grapes organically and makes its wines without additives or intervention; quite simply, they are magical. A blend of Grechetto, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Garganega, this wine macerates on its skins for about two weeks, and it ages extensively on its lees in stainless steel, resulting in a voluptuous, complex orange wine.
Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay 2014 750ml
Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay 2014 750ml
Price: $54.99
Currently Unavailable

2014 was a challenging vintage in Italy that separated good winemakers from great ones. The Antinori team shows its prowess in this rich, creamy and zesty ’14 Cervaro bottling. Sappy yet fresh, this wine bursts with orchard and stone fruits, crushed hazelnuts, white flower petals, and a kiss of toasty, spicy wood. Whooshing across the palate with vibrant acidity, this mid to full-bodied white has plenty of verve to match its opulent mouth-feel, and savory minerality complicates its sweet inner perfume. Beautifully structured and textured, the ’14 Cervaro is a triumph in a difficult vintage. A blend of 90% Chardonnay with 10% Grechetto, the grapes for this wine macerate separately in tanks, and the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in oak barrels; after five months, the blend is assembled and the wine ages for a year in bottle before release.
Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay 2015 750ml
Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay 2015 750ml
Price: $54.99

Crisp apples, plump pears, and succulent citrus mingle with a mélange of baking spices, pressed white flowers, crushed stones, and a kiss of vanilla in this beautifully balanced, nimble ’15 Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay. This wine snuggles your palate with dry extract, but its vibrant core of minerality keeps it light on its feet. Savory minerals, sweet fruit and lemony acidity complement one another in the wine’s resonant, classy finish. A blend of 90% Chardonnay with 10% Grechetto, the grapes for this wine macerate separately in tanks, and the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in oak barrels; after five months, the blend is assembled and the wine ages for a year in bottle before release.
Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2009 750ml
Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2009 750ml
Price: $59.99

Succulent red and black fruits dance with lilac petals, pencil lead, warm baking spices, saddle leather, forest floor, crushed herbs and a touch of sauvage in the wonderfully complex and intriguing ’09 Rosso de Véo. This wine exults in its tension between its sweet and savory elements, between its silky texture and chewy tannins, and between its earthiness and ethereal feel. Enjoyable now, this wine will cellar for another decade or longer. Made from the estate’s youngest Sagrantino vines, Rosso de Véo derives mostly from the Cerrete vineyard, the highest point of Bea’s estate at about 1,300-1,500 feet above sea level. Bea vinifies the de Véo in the same fashion as its Montefalco Sagrantino--a painstaking multi-step process that includes a 40-50 day cuvaison, a year of aging in stainless steel, two years in oak barrels, and another year in bottle before release.
Paolo Bea Arboreus Umbria Bianco 2011 750ml
Paolo Bea Arboreus Umbria Bianco 2011 750ml
Price: $59.99

Bea's Arboreus Bianco is a full-figured amber-hued wine that's weighty, lush, and utterly delicious. A white that drinks like a red, Arboreus Bianco has a mouth-filling, satisfying feel that’s complemented by lively acidity and a volcanic mineral core. Ripe golden apricots, dried orange peel, a touch of honey, white flower potpourri, and a dash of warm baking spices combine to make this wine delicious--and a fantastic complement to a wide range of foods from white meats to hearty seafood to pungent cheeses. Bea’s Arboreus Bianco gets its name from old pre-phylloxera vine Trebbiano Spoletino rootstock whose vines are trained into tree-like shapes. The wine’s intense flavor comes from the its grapes’ fermenting on the skins for about four weeks and sitting on its lees for more than two years before bottling.
(Antinori) Castello della Sala Pinot Nero 2015 750ml
(Antinori) Castello della Sala Pinot Nero 2015 750ml
Price: $59.99

2015 saw a temperate, sunny vintage at Castello della Sala, Antinori’s Umbrian estate, and this Pinot Nero reflects its year in its balanced, vibrant, and finessed profile. Red and blue fruits are framed by crushed river rocks, wildflower petals, baking spices, and a touch of earth in this elegant, full-bodied wine. This ’15 Pinot Nero finds admirable balance among its elements, and it reveals surprising complexity as it builds to a mineral-laden crescendo. The grapes for this wine spend ten days macerating on the skins in stainless steel; then, they're fermented in temperature-controlled barrels, followed by malolactic fermentation and aging for around eight months in barrique and another fifteen in bottle before release.
Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2010 750ml
Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2010 750ml
Price: $64.99
Currently Unavailable

Juicy, brambly fruit meets underbrush, earth and incense in the animale, fleshy and kinetic ’10 Rosso de Véo. Chewy tannins, electric acidity, and a sweet inner perfume work in concert to make this a classic vintage of Rosso de Véo. A mesmerizing wine that showcases the kinder, gentler side of Sagrantino, Rosso de Véo derives from the estate’s youngest Sagrantino vines, mostly the Cerrete vineyard, the highest point of Bea’s estate at about 1,300-1,500 feet above sea level. Bea vinifies the de Véo in the same fashion as its Montefalco Sagrantino, a painstaking multi-step process that includes a 40-50 day cuvaison, a year of aging in stainless steel, two years in oak barrels, and another year in bottle before release.
Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito 2009 375ml
Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito 2009 375ml
Price: $94.99

Complex, interesting, compelling and surprising, Paolo Bea ’09 Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito is not a wine that you can relegate to one category. Bright garnet in the glass, this mono-varietal Sagrantino wafts with juicy cherries and dried berries, warm cigar wrapper, saline minerals, grilled herbs, balsamic and a kiss of citrus zest. At once sweet and savory, this Passito-style wine holds the palate in delicious tension; it’s a pure, energetic, complicated expression of Sagrantino, and it could only come from Umbria’s master. Bea let the grapes dry for a few weeks, concentrating their sugars and flavors, and then let them ferment with skin contact for 39 days before aging for almost three years on the lees in stainless steel, and bottling the wine almost five years after harvest. Just 200 cases made.