STORY: La Sala Campo All'Albero (“A tree in the field”) takes its name from the lone tree which stands in the cabernet sauvignon vineyard on the La Sala Estate. Since this “Super Tuscan” is blended from 85% cabernet sauvignon grapes, and 15% sangiovese, this name seems appropriate, as well as poetic.
Long years ago, this estate was owned by the Medici family, although at that time there were no Cabernet Sauvignon grapes here (they are a more recent introduction) – this was a field with perhaps this very same tree standing near the center, providing a quiet, shady refuge. Legend has it a famous author occasionally made his way to this field, sitting under the tree and gaining fresh inspiration for his work. Maybe he brought along some bread, some cheese, and some great wine – like this La Sala Campo All Albero Super Tuscan. That would inspire almost anyone! One can also imagine members of the Medici family doing the same thing when they visited the Estate to escape the heat of Florence.
One of the Medici family who would certainly have appreciated this refined and elegant red wine was Caterina de’ Medici (1519–1589), a niece of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Caterina married Henry of Orleans, who became Henry the II, King of France. Caterina brought with her to France the elegance of the Florentine court, and a love of fine dining, including of course the best wines. She brought luxurious table settings, and her own cooks, who brought the secrets and refinement of Italian cooking to France, including peas, beans, artichokes, duck in orange (canard a l’orange), and onion soup (carabaccia), sorbets and ice creams, marmalades, fruits in syrup, pastry making, and of course, pasta. This new style of cooking and dining profoundly influenced French cuisine over the next centuries.
And so it was a Tuscan Queen that reformed the medieval French cooking tradition, so it was reborn as the modern French cooking we know today. It’s easy to imagine Caterina presiding over an elegant table, set with fine silverware and crystal goblets, enjoying the refined and elegant cuisine she introduced to the French royal court, with a wine like La Sala Campo All Albero Super Tuscan.
DESCRIPTION: La Sala Campo All Albero Super Tuscan is an excellent example of a “Bordeux-blend” Tuscan red. It is unique in that it has a very high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) and a lower percentage of Sangiovese (15%). The grapes are all hand-harvested, and carefully selected. Like all Super Tuscans, this is made in a more modern and international style than traditional chiantis, aging from 12 to 14 months in small French Oak barriques, and then at least 6 months in the bottle.
While Campo All Albero is clearly a modern premium red, it is Italian in its soul, better on the dinner table than sipping alone, with a strong back bone of acidity that is best enjoyed with food.
True to its heritage as a super-premium red, La Sala Campo All Albero has a lot of aging potential, and won’t reach maturity for about 8 years after vintage. When you do open a bottle, be sure to give it plenty of time for oxygenation to mellow and release its full aromas and flavors, at least an hour, or more.
TASTE: La Sala Campo All Albero is a deep intense and bright ruby red. Please serve at about 65° F, after oxygenating for at least an hour. The bouquet is intense with fruit, spice and balsamic notes. The flavor is full, almost velvety, and warm - a gorgeous example of a Super Tuscan, and truly a wine fit for a royal court.
FOOD MATCHING: This elegant and robust wine should be opened at least 1 hour before serving, and well-oxygenated. It is best served at about 68° F. It is excellent with all red meats, and game of all kinds, including pheasant and duck. For a meal reminiscent of the Court of Henry II and Caterina de Medici, try this La Sala Campo All Albero with robust onion soup, and duck all'orange or why now, a fine chateaubriand.