Toscana IGT, Italy
View From the Cellar
September 2023, John Gilman
“The Batàr bottling from Querciabella is made from a fifty-fifty blend of pinot bianco and chardonnay, with the wine barrel-fermented and raised in twenty percent new oak. The 2020 Batàr is the new release from the estate and offers up a deep, ripe and complex bouquet of apple, white peach, raw almond, a lovely base of soil, citrus blossoms and a discreet framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a superb core of fruit, lovely mineral undertow, zesty acids and fine focus and cut on the long, impeccably balanced and classy finish. Readers may recall from my estate feature on Querciabella a few years back, their Batàr ages long and gracefully and is really not into its apogee until a decade out from the vintage, so it is still very early days for the 2020 vintage here. It is quite tasty today, but still quite primary and additional layers of complexity are sure to emerge with further cellaring. 2023-2050.”
Wine & Spirits
July 2023, Stephanie Johnson
“This barrel-aged blend is equal parts chardonnay and pinot bianco. It’s bold and heady with flavors of poached pear, buttered pineapple and vanilla bean couched in a rich, saline-inflected texture. Cool mineral tones emerge after an hour in the glass, along with scents of orange blossom and chamomile that lift the finish.”
The Wine Advocate
February 2023, Monica Larner
“I have not tasted this wine in a while, and it's a delight to come back to it now. Compared to older vintages, I find this blend of equal parts Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay to be quite improved. The organic 2020 Batàr (with 20,000 bottles made) offers fresh, citrusy tones with lemon curd and candied peach. This barrique-aged white also offers mid-weight density and plenty of orchard fruit, saffron and light spice. It concludes with fresh acidity.”
June 15, 2022, James Suckling
“Intense nose of cedar, smoked almond, mango puree, papaya and lemon pie. Full-bodied, dense and creamy with delicious praline and pie-crust character, balanced by just the right amount of lemony acidity. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink now.”
June 2022, Antonio Galloni
“The 2020 Batàr, Querciabella's Chardonnay/Pinot Blanc white, is laced with hints of tangerine oil, jasmine, spice and pear. Light tropical accents appear later, adding gorgeous nuance throughout. The move towards high elevation vineyards and picking earlier yields a Batàr endowed with terrific freshness and plenty of style.”
Founded in 1974, Querciabella enjoys the acclaim of the world’s most discriminating critics and consumers for wines such as Camartina, Batàr, Palafreno and Querciabella Chianti Classico. In its uncompromising pursuit of quality, sustainability and authenticity, Querciabella has continually honed its approach to biodynamic viticulture for over a decade. With vineyards located throughout Tuscany’s Chianti Classico and Maremma areas, Querciabella exemplifies the mindful preservation of tradition through forward-thinking, albeit completely natural, winemaking.
Vintage after vintage, Querciabella’s forward-thinking winemaking has evolved beyond the hedonistic idea of succeeding at growing foreign white grapes, albeit noble, in a stronghold of red wines to focus on expressing a specific sense of place. Clearly, Batàr’s inherent vitality and classic minerality derive from the high elevation vineyards of Ruffoli and the Galestro soil typical of Chianti Classico’s best sites.
Batàr’s Chardonnay owes its flinty minerality and precision to the prevalence of galestro in two distinct south-facing sites: Casaocci Sud, at an altitude of 350 meters, and Il Pallonaio, Querciabella’s highest vineyards at 600 meters, where more sandstones are present. The Pinot Bianco grows on cooler north-facing plots around 400 meters, where the galestro has broken down into clay and schist. These denser and fresher soils contribute to shaping the renown textural quality of Batàr. The vineyards from which Batàr is sourced have been cultivated organically since 1988, and in 2000 have undergone a full conversion to biodynamic techniques.
Grapes are harvested by hand in 9kg crates. Once alcoholic and malolactic fermentation are complete, Batàr continues to mature in the same barriques on its own yeast for nine months. Bâtonnage is carried out weekly. Fine and extra fine-grained French oak Burgundy barriques (228 liters) are used, 20% new.
A year of uncertainty, 2020 was marked in the vineyards by the cold spell that hit the young buds in April, thus limiting the vintage’s volume. The persistent dry and hot weather conditions that followed lasted well into the summer, requiring meticulous canopy management to regulate the ratio between vegetation and developing bunches. Fortunately, timely rains in mid-august turned a laborious year into an excellent vintage that delivered incredibly fragrant musts, sweet and balanced to the taste.
Enjoyable upon release, though it is recommended to wait four years after harvest for more complex notes to emerge. This wine continues to develop and evolve for over 20 years. The ideal serving temperature is 43° to 47°F.
Varietals: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Blanc
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Titratable Acidity: 5.12 g/L
Harvest Start Date: August 26, 2020
Harvest End Date: September 16, 2020