Robert Parker asserts, "a strong argument can be made that Valdicava is among the top three or four Brunello di Montalcino producers." Valdicava's Brunellos offer a rare opportunity for the fine wine collector. With James Suckling’s 100 point score for the estate’s 2001 Madonnal al Piano, Vincenzo Abruzzese's star has well and truly risen and his tiny 10 hectare estate has now achieved cult status among the wine elite. Valdicava retains two of Italy's best wine consultants, winemaker Attilio Pagli and agronomist Andrea Paoletti and even in a strong vintage produces only 5000 cases of wine.
Montalcino is split between the traditionalists and the modernisers who have moved toward producing more approachable wines, the most progressive wineries using smaller 225-liter French oak barriques over traditional grandi botti. Some are hedging their bets with a judicious combination of large vats and smaller barriques, and Abbruzzese, borrowing from both disciplines, aims to maintain the structure and aromas of traditional Brunello, and the elegance and harmony associated with newer methods.
Tom's Big Boys
"The perfect size for two – as long as one of you isn’t drinking”
Is there a better enjoyed phrase in the wine world than this quote? There's something special, celebratory or just plain sensible about larger formats. They mature better, for longer, and how many times have you found yourself saying “the last glass was the best” about a bottle as a wine opens slowly to reveal its best nature, only as you are down to the final drops...?