Castello della Sala, considered one of the most extraordinary examples of medieval architecture in Italy, is located in Umbria a short distance from the Tuscan border about 11 miles from the historic city of Orvieto. The estate’s 170 hectares (420 acres) are planted with traditional varieties such as Procanico and Grechetto but also with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sèmillon, Pinot Bianco, Viognier and a small percentage of Traminer and Riesling.
The estate started producing innovative wines from non-traditional grape varieties (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) back in the 1980s’, under the direction of Marchese Piero Antinori, son of Niccolò, and Renzo Cotarella, Castello della Sala’s enologist at that time. The Umbrian estate has always posed – and still continues to pose to date – a continuous challenge for Marchesi Antinori who has dedicated years of research and experimentation in viticulture and oenology to maximize the potential of indigenous varieties and also to determine how the area’s microclimates contribute to the production of contemporary wines.
Bramito is the estate’s 100% Chardonnay and its first vintage dates back to 1994. The grapes are from younger Chardonnay vines on the estate, sitting on soils rich in fossil deposits with veins of clay that give this wine minerality and elegance. The juice is only part barrel fermented, with malolactic fermentation lending a luscious creamy texture and flavour to the wine.
Dried apricots and peaches emerge from an air of white smoke and incense as the 2020 Bramìto della Sala opens up in the glass. It’s soft and appealing through its stimulating mix of mineral-tinged orchard fruits and complementary nuances of sour citrus. Hints of grapefruit and green botanicals linger throughout the long, spicy. mouthwatering finale. This represents excellent value in the category of entry-level Italian Chardonnay.90pts Eric Guido, Vinous