~ Michele Satta and his son testing a barrel sample of Costa di Giulia ~

Tuscan Vines is not just about wine reviews.  By now, my readers know this.  This is a journey through the Italian culture. A never ending quest to live life to its fullest and report on the experiences discovered along the way.  Food and wine are inextricably joined together as part of those stories.  To that end,  I always endeavor to provide background on the wine makers, their estates and their history in order to supply a sense of context from where the passion and ultimately the wine originate.  Today,  I am going to let that history come straight from Michele Satta himself.

My arrival in Castagneto Carducci is “coincidental.” I came from Varese, and I was on vacation with my dad, an engineer, Sardinian surname and chromosomes, and my mother, a teacher, when I received a job offer from the owner of a local farm. I had just enrolled at the University of Agriculture of Milan and immediately with my first internship in October 74, I started with the harvest! My job was cleaning, serving the most humble tasks, watching and more watching, studying and working.

I learned many aspects of agriculture. I learned that the land becomes hard when the wind blows; that there will be bad weather when the swallows fly low. I learned the cycle of the plant and why in certain areas of the field plants struggle and in others, they do not. I learned that the peasant culture is an immense patrimony of unity with nature and patient respect of reality.

I decided to ride the wave of this boundless passion to start my own business and I rented some old vines and their old cellar. In 1983 I had my first harvest, and from that day on we began a story that has grown step-by-step with the history of Bolgheri. I planted my first vineyard in 1991 and then purchased the land that I felt right to be able to make wine; from the grapes I had planted and produce my own bottles.

My wife Lucia joined me in this adventure and, along with the company’s history, shared with me the growth of a beautiful and large family: infact six children were born, five daughters and one son.  Now two of them, Giacomo and Benedetta, curious and passionate, are personally part of this company: on the path of tradition while looking at the new. The journey of the second generation begins!

~  Michele Satta

~ The Sattas during Vendemmia ~

As you’ll note, this article is entitled “From the Beginning” and it’s the first in a series of articles and reviews from this exciting winemaker and his passionate family business.   Today, we’re featuring his Bianco, a fabulous white that surely helped to dismiss the warm weather we’ve been contending with recently.  It paired beautifully with the assorted antipasto with which it was paired.

~ A word on anchovies. If you haven’t ever had an anchovy from Sicily, packed in salt, you do not know what you are missing. The oil packed anchovies are absolutely disgusting. Trust me on this. Try to find this product. Take as many fillets as you need. Rinse them very well and use them in your cooking. The remainder will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 months. ~

~ What do we have here? Sautéed, room temperature broccoli rabe with garlic and chiles. Prosciutto di Parma to wrap around Grissini and two different Bruschetta. The first is grilled bread rubbed with garlic to be topped with diced tomato and basil that is adorned only with Il Palazzone Olive Oil and a seasoning mix that I bought in Castellina in Chianti. Otherwise, use nothing but salt and pepper. The second is grilled bread topped with smoked mozzarella. Place them in the oven until the cheese melts and top each with 3 fillets of anchovy. Heaven! ~

The 2016 Michele Satta Costa di Giulia was the perfect mate to accompany these wines.  Originally, the wine was 100% Vermentino, the workhorse white grape of the Maremma that produces classy, flint wines so representative of the areas terroir.  However, in 1997 Michele envisioned a wine that could be more noble, with fuller body, and began including Sauvignon Blanc in the blend.  The 2015 is 70% Vermentino and 30% Sauvignon.

A pale gold in the glass, the wine has pretty, delicate aromas of white peaches, pineapple and trace minerals.  On the palate, the wine is filled with delicate stone fruit flavors that are accented with minerals and white flowers.  Medium bodied, with plenty of elegant persistence, the wine is long on the palate but finishes clean with flavors of lemon zest and a hint of salinity.  This Bolgheri Bianco is vinified entirely in stainless steel where the wine stays in contact with the lees for 6 months.  This adds ageability and body to the wine.  As I said at the outset, just a perfect pairing with the antipasto, but would equally serve with seafood or as an aperitif.  91 points.   Not yet released.  Disclosure:  this bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ The charming Costa di Giulia is 70% Vermentino and 30% Sauvignon Blanc that spends 6 months resting on its lees ~

Want to find this wine?  You can start here:  Wine Searcher


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