Sallier de La Tour Inzolia 2021
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Just outside the bustling epicenter of Palermo in Northwest Sicily lies the Alto Belice - a fascinating landscape and cultural crossroads. It’s here that the Monte Jato archaeological park preserves important structures dating back to the Magna Graecia settlements. The nearby town of Monreale is among the most evocative towns of the island and is famous for its magnificent medieval cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also here that the Sallier de La Tour winery and estate has been located for over a century.
he Estate has belonged to the Sallier de La Tour family, Princes of Camporeale, since the mid-nineteenth century. Originally from the Piedmont region of Italy, the family moved to Sicily in the 18th century. They built the winery—La Monaca—in 1909, its name inspired by the highest hill found on the property, which is located just behind the Estate. In the 1940s, Paolo Sallier de La Tour increased the family’s interest in viticulture with a particular focus on native varietals Nero d’Avola and Inzolia. In 1956, Paolo Sallier de La Tour married Costanza Tasca d’Almerita, joining the two noble families together.
While viticulture had been a function of the estate for many years, Filiberto Sallier de La Tour, Paolo’s son, started experimenting with other varietals, most notably Syrah, which had been cultivated in the region for decades. During this time, Filiberto also began making the first estate wines under the family’s name, releasing the first commercially produced bottles labelled Sallier de La Tour in the early 2000s. In 2008, Filiberto approached his cousin, Alberto Tasca, with the idea of joining Sallier de La Tour with the renowned Tasca d’Almerita family of wineries. Having long been impressed with his cousin’s passion and the family’s deep ties to their land, Alberto agreed, and the two families started a new chapter in the estate’s history.
Today, the Estate is managed by Costanza Chirivino, a member of the Sallier de La Tour family, with the support of the Tasca d’Almerita team. Costanza's energy and enthusiasm for her family's legacy is infectious, as is her knowledge of and affinity for the region. In addition to managing the commercial aspects of the Estate, Alberto Tasca also included the Sallier de La Tour in the company’s sustainable initiatives. This enables and ensures that the entire property is managed according to the tenants of SOStain, a sustainability program that requires third-party certification of the estate’s impact on air, water, soil, and surrounding territory, as well as environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Inzolia is a pale-skinned variety responsible for some of Sicily’s best white wines, whether on its own or blended with other varieties—namely the indigenous Grillo or Cataratto. Inzolia guises as Ansonica Bianca is Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region, competing with Vermentino for popularity. Somm Secret—Inzolia along with Grillo, are the grapes responsible for high quality Marsala.