Bramito del Cervo 2014 Chardonnay, IGT Umbria, Castello della Sala, Marchesi Antinori
Antinori's estate in Umbria boasts high altitude vineyards between 660-1325 feet above sea level on soils derived from sedimentary marine fossils mingled clay strati. 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 Spectator named it a "Smart Buy" scoring it 91 points and saying "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. Best from 2018 through 2024."