Bramito del Cervo 2012 Chardonnay, IGT Umbria, Castello della Sala, Marchesi Antinori
Antinori's estate in Umbria boasts high altitude vineyards bteween 660-1325 feet above sea level on soils derived from sedimentary marine fossils mingled clay stratas. Their flagship white, Cervaro della Sala is made here but so is this under the radar gem. Bramito del Cervo is 100% Chardonnay that is barrel fermented in French Allier and Toncais oak. The grapes soak on the skins initially and then after fermentation a portion of the wine is aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks while the rest ages an additional five months in oak. The result is a full spectrum Chardonnay with ripe tropical fruit aromas and flavors along with butterscotch, minerals and hints of toasty oak that linger in a lengthy finish. Wine Enthusiast Magazine said "opens with aromas of Golden Delicious apples, vanilla and a whiff of oak. The palate delivers creamy apple and juicy lemon flavors, with notes of well-integrated oak. Despite the richness, it's also elegant and fresh." It's no surprise that Renzo Cotarella and the Antinori team can turn out a Chard of this quality but what IS a surprise is the price. Drinks like it costs double.