Valentini is an almost mythological name among Italian wine lovers. Despite using only trebbiano and montepulciano, grapes usually associated with simple wines, the wines are profound, texturally complex and evocative. We have managed to secure a tiny allocation of these magnificent wines.
We’ll leave it to award-winning Italian wine writer Ian d’Agata to describe the 2013 vintage:
“Vivid pale yellow. Mesmerizingly pure aromas of lemon, peach, minerals, jasmine and menthol; this is almost Riesling-like. Then magically combines creamy-sweet and fine-grained elements providing both backbone and lift to its bracing pink grapefruit, lemon, lime and mineral flavors. Gradually expands on the brilliantly pure, utterly seamless finish, that showcases a lovely light touch and tension. This is one of the three or four best Italian dry white wines I remember tasting in the last five years, and is just about as good as Valentini’s own 2010 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, another truly memorable wine. The plus sign next to my score indicates I fully expect this wine to reach 97-98 points in a few years. Even then, I might be erring on the side of conservativism. Time will tell. Bravissimi!” – Ian d’Agata, VINOUS Media, June 2017. 95+ points
Valentini claim to have the true trebbiano abruzzese variety, an ancient clone they call bombino bianco that is extremely low-yielding. Although there is still a huge amount of confusion around the relationship between these grapes, it may account for the vast difference in quality between Valentini’s trebbiano and others from the region, many of which may in fact be trebbiano di Toscana (aka ugni blanc).
APPELLATION: Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC
GRAPE: trebbiano abruzzese
CASE SIZE: 12
Valentini is an almost mythological name among Italian wine lovers. Perhaps it has something to do with the aura of mystery around the estate: Edoardo Valentini, a true artisan who made the wines from 1956 until his death in 2006, shunned media contact and refused to speak about the winemaking techniques, beyond the most general terms. His son, Francesco Paolo, continues the methods and traditions set by his father. Or maybe it’s because despite using only trebbiano and montepulciano, grapes usually associated with simple wines, the wines are profound, texturally complex and evocative.
Wine has been made at Valentini since about 1600, but it is only since Edoardo took over in the 1950s that the wines have been bottled under the Valentini name. The estate covers some 60 hectares of vineyards and olive groves, but only the top 10% or so of grapes are used, and the rest go to the local co-op. In some years the entire crop is sold off if the fruit is not up to the stringent Valentini standards. Like his father, Francesco Paolo is reluctant to share details of the winemaking process. However, they can certainly be called tradtionalists. The wines are fermented using only indigenous yeasts in glass-lined concrete and aged in large Slavonian botti. They are bottled unfined and unfiltered and released only when considered ready.
The montepulciano is made only in outstanding vintages – since 2006, only the 2012 vintage has been released. However, it is the trebbiano that really speaks to the magic of this estate. The incredible depth, precision and ageworthiness that Valentini have achieved justifies all the hype. We have managed to secure a tiny allocation of these magnificent wines.