San Giovanni della Sala 2008
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Producer: Castello della Sala, Orvieto Classico Superiore
Niccolò Antinori bought the fourteenth-century Castello della Sala in 1940, to provide a source of white wines to match the excellence of his Tuscan reds. With the introduction of Cervaro della Sala in 1987, his dream was fully realised: this is one of Italy’s defining whites, as influential and sought after as Tignanello. The vineyards are planted with a mixture of traditional Italian and international varieties, offering a range of wines from the traditional Orvieto to the mould-breaking IGTs. The vineyards cultivated for this wine has a particularly low yield per hectare. Vineyards at the Castello della Sala estate are situated at over 500 metres above sea level in the Umbrian Apennines, not far from the border with Tuscany. The soil is clay of sedimentary and volcanic origin. Part of the juice was vinified using cryomaceration, where the must remained in contact with the skins for six hours at around 5°C. This must was then added to that obtained from direct pressing of the grapes, and moved to stainless steel tanks where the alcoholic fermentation took place at a low temperature. The wine stayed in these tanks until bottling. Concentrated, rounded Orvieto from low-yielding vines on the Castello della Sala estate; ripe and floral.