The 2017 vintage was marked by dry climatic conditions, winter saw lower than average temperatures and an absence of rainfall. A hot, dry summer season induced early ripening and guaranteed an excellent state of health of the clusters. At harvest time, the grapes were healthy, fresh and able to impart an optimal balance between ripe tannins and good alcohol levels. Harvesting activities of Pinot Nero grapes began the last week of August and was completed the first week of September.
After destemming and gentle crushing, the grapes were transferred into 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 concluding in French oak 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.
Pinot Nero della Sala is a bright red garnet color. On the nose delicate aromas of spices, violets and small red fruit emerge. Its palate, typical of the Pinot Nero variety, is supple and savory with silky tannins and distinctive characteristics that enhance its pleasant profile.
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.
At Castello della Sala, an area historically important for white wines, Pinot Nero offers an authentic and typical expression of its variety with a strong territorial character.
The 4 hectares (10 acres) of Pinot Nero grow along the hillsides shaping the landscape into a series of sinuous terraced vineyards.
The particularly hot climate of Castello della Sala has forced agronomists to invent new ways to protect the grapes from the hot summer sun. The vines’ shoots are allowed to grow in length and are then folded over the plant so its leaves can shade the Pinot Nero grape clusters.
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 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.