Cervaro della Sala 2016 – Castello della Sala
Style: White
Country: Italy
Region: Umbria
Grape: Chardonnay
Score: 95-100
Price: 50-75 euro

Cervaro della Sala 2016 – Castello della Sala.

“Umbria’s Hidden Gem: The 2016 Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala”

Nestled in the heart of Italy, Umbria has long remained a well-kept secret among wine enthusiasts. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Tuscany, Umbria’s serene landscape of rolling hills, ancient towns, and Mediterranean climate offers the perfect canvas for crafting exceptional wines.

At the center of Umbria’s vinous revival stands Castello della Sala, a historic estate bearing the esteemed Antinori name. With roots dating back to the 14th century, Castello della Sala is a testament to the fusion of tradition and innovation, where centuries-old practices meet modern winemaking techniques.

Within these ancient castle walls lies the 2016 Cervaro della Sala, a wine that encapsulates the essence of Umbria’s vineyards. This vintage, crafted with a deliberate shift towards a lighter, fresher style, reveals the evolving tastes of today’s wine connoisseurs. Join us on a journey to uncover the magic of Umbria, the legacy of Castello della Sala, and the captivating allure of the 2016 Cervaro della Sala—a wine that embodies the spirit of this extraordinary region.

About the Region

Nestled within the enchanting heart of Italy lies the picturesque region of Umbria, a well-guarded secret known to discerning wine enthusiasts. Often eclipsed by the fame of its illustrious neighbor, Tuscany, Umbria possesses an understated charm that captivates the senses. This hidden gem, aptly referred to as the “Green Heart of Italy,” offers a serene and bucolic setting characterized by rolling hills, ancient towns, and a temperate climate, providing an ideal terroir for cultivating exceptional wines.

Umbria’s viticultural history is steeped in tradition, dating back centuries. Its timeless landscapes have borne witness to the rise of generations of winemakers who have, over the years, harnessed the region’s unique attributes to craft wines of distinction. The combination of ancient knowledge and a relentless commitment to innovation has propelled Umbria into the spotlight as a dynamic and evolving wine-producing region.

About the Winery

Castello della Sala, Antinori

Owned by the esteemed Antinori family, Castello della Sala traces its lineage back to the 14th century, embodying a rich tapestry of tradition and excellence. Perched amidst the captivating Umbrian landscape, Castello della Sala is revered for its unwavering dedication to crafting wines that seamlessly blend age-old traditions with cutting-edge techniques.

The estate’s commitment to sustainable viticulture and respect for the land are emblematic of the Antinori family’s unwavering stewardship. From the meticulous care of the vineyards to the precision of the winemaking process, Castello della Sala epitomizes the essence of Italian craftsmanship and artistry. It is a place where the past and present converge, where history is interwoven with the vibrant tapestry of modern winemaking.

About the Wine

The name “Cervaro” pays homage to the Monaldeschi della Cervara family, who once presided over the hallowed grounds of Castello della Sala during the 14th century. It’s a nod to the estate’s storied past, a heritage that infuses each bottle with a sense of timeless elegance and complexity. This blend of Chardonnay grapes and a delicate touch of Grechetto has been leading Italy’s white wine charts for some years now, and is one of the country’s top wines.

What sets Cervaro della Sala apart is its pioneering spirit. It was one of the trailblazers, one of the first Italian white wines to embrace malolactic fermentation and aging in barriques. This innovative approach was a deliberate choice—an artistic expression aimed at crafting a white wine with the capacity to evolve gracefully over time. Intriguingly, the first vintage of Cervaro della Sala, a wine that would go on to capture the hearts of wine enthusiasts, saw the light of day in 1985. Renzo Cotarella, then the chief enologist at Castello della Sala, lent his expertise and vision to create a wine that would become a benchmark not only for the estate but also for Italian white wine on the whole.

The 2016 vintage unveils itself with grace, beauty, and a newfound finesse that sets it apart. Notably, it represents a deliberate shift towards a lighter and more streamlined profile—a response to evolving wine preferences in today’s market. One of the pivotal changes in crafting this celebrated Italian white wine was an adjustment in the harvest timing to limit alcohol content. The reduction of Grechetto in the blend allowed for the expression of increased freshness and natural acidity from the Chardonnay component. Furthermore, skin maceration times were shortened, ensuring a vibrant and less texturally heavy wine.

The 2016 Cervaro della Sala offers a pristine and elegant interpretation of its terroir. As you savor it, you will discover crisp notes of peach and tropical fruit, balanced with sharp mineral definition, which can be attributed to the subtle salinity imparted by the Grechetto grapes. The wine’s maturation in oak barrels for five months adds complexity and depth to its character. This vintage showcases a profoundly vertical and focused wine, exemplifying the potential of the Umbrian terroir when coupled with expert winemaking techniques.


In summary, the 2016 Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala is a remarkable expression of the Umbrian wine scene. With its evolution towards a lighter, fresher style, it encapsulates the essence of modern wine craftsmanship while preserving the region’s timeless charm. The Cervaro 2016 stands as a testament to the dedication and innovation of Castello della Sala, offering wine enthusiasts a truly exceptional and memorable experience. Cheers to this beautifully crafted Italian white wine that effortlessly marries tradition and contemporary excellence.

We award this top Italian white with a 95-point DWA Score.

This wine is reviewed by our own Niels Aarts.

Price:                          €65

Taste date:                May 2022

Score:                         95/100 DWA Score

Website:                    Castello della Sala – Antinori