One of the best examples of this late harvest white wine from central Italy, 2017, is a fantastic bottle and one of the best efforts to date. This is a rare find in the USA, and we have some of the only bottles available at the moment. A unique yet lovely wine, this is worth checking out.
The creation of Italian wine visionary Stefano Antonucci turned his family cooperative into the grand winery it is today. Stefano left his job as a banker to fulfill his creative dreams and feel alive again through the process of winemaking in his hometown of Barbara in the Marche region of Italy. This wine has been praised as one of the best in the region and is made from a late-harvest ancient variety of Verdicchio. Soils are very clayey here, with the vines ranging from 25-40 years old at close to 1000 feet elevation. Vinification takes place in stainless steel with aging on the fine lees. Very pure with tropical fruit, spice, flowers, and wild herbs, this is bold yet refined with excellent acidity and minerality. 2017 is an outstanding example of this wine as one of the best renditions ever for Santa Barbara and makes it to the Forbes top list of Italian white wines for what it's worth. Great notes below; we have the lowest price in the world for this right now, and it is worth a look. Also, Santa Barbara donates a portion of the proceeds to a Neuromuscular research foundation which is a nice little extra.
Forbes 97+ Best Italian White Wines "Stefano Antonucci can never be talked about enough, the work that Barbara's cellar is doing in the territories is so important. Personal, refined and subtle interpretations such as this Tardivo from overripe Verdicchio grapes (partially dried on the plant), elegant nose, unpeeled fruit, toasted pistachios, full sip."
James Suckling 93 points! "This is creamy with lovely notes of concrete and ripe apples alongside a hint of lemon tart. Medium to full body. Round and flavorful yet fresh and lively at the end. Drink or hold."
Vinous (Eric Guido) 92 points! "In the past, I’ve found the Verdicchio Tardivo Ma Non Tardo (“late but not late”) from Santa Barbara to be the largest-scaled wine from their portfolio. However, the 2017 holds its power in check, leaning more on minerals, savory herbs and citrus-infused pit fruits to impress. Silky textures soothe with a bitter bite of green apple acidity and salty tension, which nearly masks this Verdicchio’s ripe fruit, but not quite. It’s a wine of contrasts that leaves subtle notes of ripe green melon and sweet inner florals to mingle on the finish."