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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Valentini :: Domenico Valentino

Valentini :: Domenico Valentino:

'via Blog this'Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a wine that isn't merely hard to find; it's impossible to find. On paper, it's the most unlikely of cognoscenti obsessions: a wine made from a ho-hum grape in an unsung region. In the bottle, however, it's pure, liquid magic, and IWM is proud to bring you three vintages of this highly collectible great wine, the 2006--and the 2001 and 2002, two of the vintages made by the late, great Edoardo Valentini.

Still mostly a secret to anyone who isn't an aficionado of Italian wine, Abruzzo's Edoardo Valentini crafted traditional wines that made cognoscenti swoon, a practice that his son Francesco has continued since Edoardo's death in 2006. Valentini makes only three wines--Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, and Cerasuolo Rosato d'Abruzzo--and all are standard bearers of artisanal quality not just for Abruzzo or for Italian wines, but for the world.

Part of the Valentini cult status stems from the fact that the estate makes only 40,000 bottles a year, and only 4,000 of its Montepulciano d'Abruzzo that we are offering today. Another part of it comes from Valentini's ability to make amazingly age-worthy expressions of wines like Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Trebbiano, wines that are most often toss-away quaffers. And the last part of it is Valentini's secret magic, for this is one producer who doesn't make and tell. Whatever is behind Valentini's cult status, there is always more demand than there is wine.

Edoardo Valentini was famously close-mouthed when it came to talking about his wines. He didn't divulge his secrets, he disdained talking to the press, and he really didn't care to market what he made. Instead, he kept quiet, tending his 170 acres, selecting from the harvest only five to ten percent of the grapes to bottle, and using very traditional methods to make the wine--fermentation in glass-lined cement tanks and extended aging in neutral oak botti. Francesco continues in his father's footsteps, quietly making insanely high quality wine, quietly releasing it when it's ready, quietly living the life of a genius. We can only thank him.

Today's offer highlights the intense, muscular, killer 2006 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, the estate's most recent release. The stars, however, are the 2001 and 2002, both of which are just entering their drinking windows, both with impeccable provenance and both simply breathtaking-most importantly, both are among the last vintages made by "The Lord of the Vines," Edoardo Valentini. Fewer than 1,100 cases made each vintage, these are wines for serious wine-lovers, wines that very much earn the moniker "cult gems." 
The Wizard's highly recommends this Red and the greatest White their Trebbiano d'Abruzzi , I ever had the pleasure of tasting!!!!!

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