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Towering over a boundless panorama of rolling hills and saturated with scents of wild herbs and flowers, the Castagnoli vineyards are a Tuscan paradise. Among the steep, terraced rows of alberello-trained Sangiovese vines, outcrops of layered blue galestro stone peek out from beneath the soil and litter flaky debris all about. And yet the vines seem quite happy growing out of almost pure rock, perhaps thanks to the biodynamic preparations intended to fertilize the land and boost the plant’s immune function. In the cellar, the most basic “technology”—open-top fermentation bins and used barrels—suffices to usher the transformation of grape to wine. Salita is a declassified Chianti Classico from the estate’s most prized parcel, a sun-drenched incline that yields a full-throttle Sangiovese loaded with the flavors of its terroir.
|Vineyard:||9 years average, 6.57 ha|
|Aging:||Wine ages for 18 months in neutral oak barrels|
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch