May 14, 2015
A Note from Sergio
By the mid-1980s, Piero Antinori and his team, which included a young Umbrian enologist Renzo Cotarella, were ready to give up on the project of making a Meursault-inspired white at Antinori's Umbrian estate. In exasperation, they shut the door to the cellar where the wine was fermenting, allowing the temperature to rise slightly. This induced malolactic fermentation and created this wine's creamy mouth-feel, satisfied Antinori and made Cotarella happy; the rest, as they say, was history.
Of course, the story is a bit more complicated than that. Cotarella, a native Umbrian, had the understanding to take Piero Antinori's vision for a Meursault-like white and turn it into a reality. Half of the secret is the fluctuating small percentage of Grechetto that Cotarella blends with the Chardonnay; this grape adds a savory Mediterranean quality, a bit of citrus and a bunch of wildflowers to the Chardonnay mix. The other part is how Renzo, now CEO and Chief Enologist at Antinori, and his team vinify the two grapes, which is separately and each according to its own personality. The rest, of course, is magic.
Sometimes it takes a happy accident to make a great wine; sometimes it takes a native son to know how to finesse the best from the land and the grapes; other times, it takes a confluence of all of that and a great winemaker like Piero Antinori to make it happen. The upshot is that Castello della Sala Cervaro stands as a contender for Italy's best Chardonnay, a position with few rivals. Today, I'm pleased to offer a new allocation of the 2012 vintage of this great long-aging wine; this is a breathtaking bottling, and it's going to shine for years to come.
Today's Featured Sections Include:
1. Spotlight on Excellence: Opulent, Finessed Antinori Cervaro della Sala '12 Chardonnay
2. Only At IWM:
Benchmark Vintage, Historic Wine, Biondi-Santi '06 Brunello Riserva
3. Time Sensitive Offer: 2009 Hermitage La Chapelle, Jaboulet's Return to Greatness
4. Our Experts Suggest:
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte for Now--or Later!
5. Wine Events: May Wine Tastings