Pinot Nero 2011


The climate of the 2011 was rather unusual: after a July with sunny, but not particularly warm, days and with nighttime temperatures below 64° Fahrenheit (18° centigrade), a wave of torrid weather - with daytime temperatures as high as 105° Fahrenheit (40° centigrade) and little nighttime coolness - then arrived. Fortunately, an excellent canopy of leaves and reasonable supply of ground water, along with a careful selection of the grapes, prevented problems of raisining from arising. Continuing high temperatures made timely picking a necessity, and the harvest began in early September. The 2011 vintage, despite these climatic conditions, nonetheless gave rich grapes and fragrant and elegant wines which, above all, showed ripe tannins and the promise of excellent longevity.


The grapes were picked from vineyards situated at 1325 feet (400 meters) above sea level on the Castello della Sala estate, a property near the city of Orvieto in Umbria. After destemming and a partial pressing, the grapes went into stainless steel tanks where they fermented ten days; during this period, maximum attention was given to the extraction of color and tannins. The must fermented at a temperature of 79° Fahrenheit (26° centigrade) and finished in French (Allier, Tronçais) oak barrels, where it also completed its malolactic fermentation. Aging lasted eight months and the wine was then bottled. A nine month period of bottle aging in the Castello della Sala cellars preceded commercial release.

Tasting Notes

A brilliant garnet red in color and endowed with spicy notes and delicate aromas of violets and blueberries, this Pinot Noir is tasty and supple in its tannins and promises to evolution very well indeed in bottle.

Pinot Nero della Sala

The Wine

The first vintage to be produced was the 1990 vintage. The wine is made entirely with Pinot Nero grapes and is considered Cervaro’s alter ego: together they represent the two different expressions of Castello della Sala’s complex and refined spirit. Four hectares (10 acres) of Pinot Nero vineyards sit at an altitude of 400 meters (1312 feet) above sea level on calcareous soils rich in fossils with sedimentary sands from the Pliocene epoch.

Pinot Nero della Sala

The beginning of the 2021 growing season was marked by cold temperatures that extended the vines’ dormant period and delayed budbreak by about two weeks compared to seasonal averages. The month of May saw little rainfall and cool temperatures while summer brought sunny skies and good temperature swings between day and night providing the vines with the right conditions to make up for lost time. Beautiful weather continued for the entire period of the grape harvest giving vineyard crews time to patiently and systematically pick the best clusters to obtain the finest expression of Pinot Nero berries. Harvesting operations began the first week of September with healthy, fully ripened grapes that presented optimal freshness and an excellent aromatic profile.

After destemming and gentle crushing, the grapes were transferred into small stainless steel truncated cone tanks where cold maceration was performed over a period of three days. Alcoholic fermentation followed at a controlled temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and lasted for about one week and was then completed in 228-liter barriques where the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and continued to age for several months. Pinot Nero della Sala aged in the bottle in the castle’s historical cellar for an additional period before being released for sale.

The ten acres (four hectares) of Pinot Noir grapes at the Castello della Sala estate are situated at an altitude of over 1300 feet (400 meters) above sea level on calcareous soils rich in marine fossils which alternate with strata of sedimentary sands from the Pliocene epoch. The wine was first produced in 1990. Castello della Sala is a fortress erected in the 14th century located approximately ten miles (18 kilometers) from the city of Orvieto and was acquired by the Antinori family in 1940.

Pinot Nero della Sala 2021 is a translucent ruby red color with light garnet hues. The nose expresses a delicate bouquet with notes of raspberries, red currants, wild strawberries that follow over to slight sensations of pink pepper. The palate is harmonious, supple with fine tannins: a wine that is pleasantly mellow while at the same time surprisingly complex. The finish is fresh, savory defined by excellent persistence.

Castello della Sala

Castello della Sala

Castello della Sala is located in the Umbria region, not far from the Tuscan border, about 18 kilometers from the historic city of Orvieto. The Medieval castle’s property extends over an area of 600 hectares (1482 acres), 200 hectares (495 acres) are planted with vineyards at an altitude that varies between 220 and 470 meters above sea level (722/1541 feet) on the gently rolling hillsides that characterize the beautiful countryside in this area. Castello della Sala is the perfect place for growing white varieties. The vines grow in clay and calcareous based soils, rich in fossil shells, and they are well exposed to the rising of the sun with an excellent difference of temperature between day and night. The one exception to the rule is Pinot Noir, the only red variety that has found in this area ideal growing conditions to best express its full potential.



Calcareous soil with fossils and sedimentary sand dating back to the Pliocene period.

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