Friday, April 27, 2018

Antica, Napa's Extradorinary Wines from The World's Oldest, Active, Producer, Antinori by Philip S. Kampe

                                                            Glenn Salva

Our best friends live in Umbria. Umbria is adjacent to Tuscany. The land is both provinces have similarities to the Napa Valley, where Piero Antinori decided to extend his brand-Antinori, the oldest active winery in the world-to make Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnays in a fashion that traces his ancestry.

In 1993, he purchased 600 acres (225 hectares), at 1,800 feet (500 meters) to begin his journey to create ‘classic Antinori wines’ in an area that fits his credentials, according to Glenn Salva (see photo), his estate manager. Since then, he has added considerable acreage and has involved his daughters into the family business.

Mr. Salva explained that the alluvial and volcanic soils on the mountainside (1500-1800 feet) mimic what the family estates in Italy have accomplished for centuries, that being, vines that grow on mountain hillsides that are married to volcanic soils.

The results are astounding.

If you get the opportunity to sample or purchase the wines that I was privileged to taste with Glenn Salva-the 2016 Antica Chardonnay and the 2014 Antica Cabernet Sauvignon, you would have a sleepless night-dreaming about the classic nuisances both wines have.

14% abv didn’t slow down the 2016 Antica Antinori Family Estate Napa Chardonnay. Elegant, yet big in style, this intense California Chardonnay, from Antinori, is a mixed bag-the flavors focus on maple drenched pears and movie theater  milk duds, combining for a sweet, yet  tart, tangy finish. This wine is unique, not California style and not a classic white burgundy. Thats what makes it interesting and an obvious buy.

The 2014 Antica Cabernet Sauvignon is a well structured, balanced wine that was full of stylish elegance, focusing on a balance of  spicy blackcurrant riding on top of a bed of anise. Totally full-bodied with rich tannins and acceptable acidity, this vintage, with its long finish, certainly can be cellared for a dozen years.

Mr. Antinori and his family and team at the vineyard know how to make wine. This, certainly, is the oldest family in the world in the wine business. Who would know better?

Philip S. Kampe


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