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Hidden Away in Napa Valley The name Antica comes from Antinori California, but it also trans- lates as “collectible” in Italian. “The vineyards planted on the Antica estate are shaped in an amphitheatre-like setting. We are located in an elevated valley with steep slopes rising on all sides. The estate’s unique terroir allows us to produce not only great hillside Cabernet Sauvignon, but also unique Chardonnay only yards away. The Foss Valley,” he points below, “allows us a cool valley floor for this varietal. You don’t find many estates that can grow Cabernet and Chardonnay practically side-by-side.” Almost 2,000 feet above sea level, Antica is indeed hidden away. With a man-made lake, two watersheds that flow down steep canyons out to the Napa River and cool breezes from the Pacific, Antica is not land-locked like some of the other elevated valleys in the region. While 50 percent of production is groomed for Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% for Chardonnay, complementary vines Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot and even some Sangiovese are planted. “Over time, we’ll figure out the pos- sibilities,” states Salva. “But the good news is, Piero says that he believes we’re heading in the right direction.” The Wines of Antica After 26 generations of winemak- ing, the Antinori name is firmly associated with quality family wine estates. Piero Antinori personally decides whether any wine goes into a bottle with his name on it; authenticity and drinkability are key components. Antica 2009 Chardonnay (3500 cases, SRP $35), is 100% estate grown and produced. Just released last month, this Chardonnay is a showstopper that boasts vibrant lemon chiffon, banana and coconut against a mineral base. A subtle but defined backdrop of oak (notably less than the former vintage), cereal, hazelnut and natural acidity add to its complex nature. Antica 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (3,000 cases, SRP $55) comes off the estate’s 24-acre Townsend Vineyard. The 2008 will be released next summer, but in 2009 the winemak- ing team had access to another 300 Antinori California Estate Manager Glenn Salva overlooks the 1200-acre Antica estate, with man-made Lake Atlas in the background. Six hundred acres are planted to vines, but the estate is still young and not yet utilizing all its resources. Just released, the Antica 2009 Chardonnay speaks of purity and freshness. acres of developed Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards on the property. We found an abundance of fruit on the nose—intensely ripe plums, for instance—along with espresso and earthy tonality. This red has great lines, and we’re not just talking about the Marchesi Antinori pedigree, but a mouthfeel that is dramatically opulent, finishing up in a swash of red summer cherries. Antica is marketed through Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. december 2010 / the tasting panel / 91

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