Italy’s 10 leading fine white wines
7th February, 2013 by Rupert Millar
5. Agricola Querciabella, Batàr
Grape variety: Chardonnay/Pinot Bianco
Classification: Toscana IGT
Average price per bottle: £44
As with Cervaro della Sala, Batàr is designed to be a Burgundy-killer, albeit with Cantina Terlano’s Chardonnay/Pinot Blanc blend.
Between 1988 and 1991 the wine was known as Bâtard-Pinot and mixed both Pinot Bianco and Grigio.
To avoid confusion with more famous Burgundian AOCs and to reflect a change in blend, the name was changed to simply Bâtard from 1992 to 1994 (when Chardonnay was added in place of Pinot Grigio) and then to today’s Batàr in 1995.
The wine has been certified biodynamic since 2000 and was organic from 1988. The must is fermented in barrique and undergoes full malolactic fermentation as well.
Ageing is done in French oak, 30% new, 70% one year old, for nine to 12 months. The wines are then blended and given a further six months bottle age before release.
Cellaring of three to four years is recommended as the wine apparently has a tendency to “shut down” between its release after 20 months and maturity at around 42 months.
Galloni called the 2004 (92 points) “sublime” and said that there was “no doubt” that, in general, it was a wine capable of developing greater complexity with age.
The 2007 and 2008 were both given 91 points by Galloni and the 2005 and 2006 90 points. From 1995 to 2010 the wine has consistently scored between 16.5 and 17.5 on Purple Pages.