Batàr 2019 is a charmer vintage that critics and collectors will be talking about decades from now.
The release of the new vintage of Batàr always creates quite a buzz and excitement in the world of fine wines. And the vintage 2019 is no different. The balanced climatic conditions fetched a succulent fruit with extraordinary concentration and crunchiness that, through a spotless interpretation in the wine cellar, delivered wines of tremendous depth and, last but not least, ageing potential.
A bit of background
Winemaker Manfred Ing, who joined Querciabella just over a decade ago, has overseen the evolution towards a leaner, restrained style. The more recent vintages of Batàr are arguably more fruit-focused thanks to earlier harvesting, lighter lees contact — we introduced pre-fermentation stirring and now conduct bâtonnage more sparingly — and reduced reliance on new oak. Compared to the past, the wines have more precision and tang and are more reflective of the terroir, making the most of Ruffoli’s elevation and its rocky Galestro soils.
In 2008 we planted 19 rows of the ‘Gouges clone’ of Pinot Bianco mutated from Henri Gouges’ holdings in the premier cru vineyard of La Perrière in Nuits-St-Georges. The story goes that in the 1940s, Henri Gouges was inspecting his Pinot noir vines, prepping for the harvest, when he came across a plant bearing only white clusters. Intrigued, he cut off a vine branch and propagated it to see what fruit the new vine would bear. It did! This unique mutation of Pinot noir now goes by the name of “Pinot Gouges” and gives the wine a textural component that is silky and spicy.
The Making of
The legendary ability of Batàr to defy age and improve over time requires a careful combination of hand-selected grapes of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco, a punctual micro-vinification regime and patient maturation in premium French barriques. After about nine months, the final blend comes together through extensive sampling and is left to age in concrete over winter. Further ageing in bottle, before its release, puts the seal on the layered texture that defines Batàr’s proverbial mouthfeel. The result is a wine of extraordinary balance between plush fruit, minerality, and supreme focus.
The vintage 2019, as the Chianti Classico Consorzio defined it, is one of classic proportions in terms of both quality and quantity. It started with another mild winter followed by a wet spring that posed some challenges in the vineyards; however, the flowering and fruit set went well, setting the pace for a phenomenal harvest. The first week of May saw the temperatures soar, and this heat continued through the Summer. It may have been torrid at times, but there were no problems with drought stress thanks to the abundant water reserves after the Spring rains. September brought the desired day/night temperature differences, and the grapes reached excellent phenolic ripeness with beautiful skin to pulp ratios.
Batàr 2019 is a superb wine. Peach stone, citrus peel, a buttery quirk and a lemony vibrancy liven up concentration and harmony. Among the few, the best white Supertuscan. Tremendous ageing potential if you resist.
Straw yellow with golden reflections. Intense aromas of orange blossom and citrus peel introduce an exotic bouquet of tropical fruit: mango, papaya, passion fruit. Notes of iodine and toasted bread spread with vegetable butter add more complexity. It is a full-bodied, elegant wine with plenty of freshness; the rich palate is reminiscent of tropical fruit, with a touch of oriental spices on the very persistent finish. With time, tertiary notes of mushrooms, nuts, and tobacco emerge, all the unique components melding seamlessly in a memorable gustatory experience.
Deep and layered with complexity, Batàr calls for rich, creamy dishes that take on its prominent phenolic texture brought by barrel ageing. The presence of tannins is one of the reasons why, despite being white, Batàr is not necessarily the best choice for a light meal. But it would be unfair to Batàr’s remarkable versatility to leave it at that. Its taut acidity highlighting its fragrant profile combined with a flinty salinity, open the door to an array of delicious opportunities.
Except for the very hot and spicy recipes, you can take inspiration from all over Asia, melding bitter, pungent and, of course, umami flavours. With a young Batàr, try a chickpea coconut curry or Vegetable Stir-fry with Garlic and Ginger. A Miso-tahini Butternut Squash Soup or a Maitake mushroom Ramen Noodles are other flavorful suggestions you can explore for an intriguing pairing.
From button to portobello to truffles, from sautéed to roasted, Batàr likes its fungi. Thanks to its savoury and earthy notes, it can carry umami-rich dishes such as simple King Oyster Mushroom Scallops to a creamy Risotto with Porcini or a Mushroom Bourguignon Pot Pie. We recommend pairing Batàr 2019 with a Truffled Chickpea Sformatino.