The Castello della Sala towers over a tufaceous promontory of the Umbrian Apennines (at 534 meters, or some 1750 feet, above sea level) just a short distance away from the boundary with Tuscany and approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the historic city of Orvieto. It is a lovely medieval fortress, surrounded by historic, hillside Etruscan villages, halfway between the Paglia river and the peak of Mount Nibbio.
The Castello della Sala vineyards were originally planted to a number of traditional grape varieties, principally Procanico and Grechetto, which continue to be cultivated on the estate, giving proper emphasis and attention to these native grapes in their own selected terroir. Procanico is the Trebbiano clone of Umbria and has been cultivated around Orvieto since time immemorial. Procanico differs notably from Tuscan Trebbiano in its lesser vigor and yields, its less compact bunches, and a yellow-pink, rather than green, skin. Grechetto is an Umbrian variety with a characteristically thick skin, a deep yellow in color, quite acid in its juice, low-yielding and notably tannic. It produces ample wines which are spicy on the nose, herbaceous with notes of freshly-cut hay, firm in structure, and with a good aging potential and elegance. Non-traditional grape varieties include various clones of Chardonnay – 60 hectares (150 acres) planted between 230 and 340 meters (750 to 1125 feet) above sea level – 20 hectares (50 acres) of Sauvignon Blanc – four hectares (10 acres of Pinot Noir at 340-460 meters -1125 – 1500 feet - above sea level. At the Castello there are also small vineyards parcels planted to Semillon e Gewürztraminer.
Cervaro takes its name from the noble family which owned the Castello della Sala during the course of the fourteenth century: the Monaldeschi Della Cervara. The Antinori family acquired the property in 1940. The first vintage of Cervaro della Sala was in 1985, released in 1987. This wine has won many awards in wine competitions and has won much recognition for its constant high quality.
The 2010 Cervaro della Sala (90% Chardonnay/10% Grechetto) is seriously beautiful in this vintage. A large-scaled, voluptuous wine, the 2010 emerges from the glass with an exotic melange of honey, tropical fruit, butter, lemon and sweet spices. Underlying veins of minerality frame the striking, oily finish. Although the 2010 is pretty today, I will not be surprised if the 2010 improves with further time in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. #205Feb 2013
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