Valdicava Cellar Offer 2019
Something almost mystical comes through the Brunello di Montalcino of this wonderful wine estate. Firstly, it has to be from the sublime vineyards located on the northern side of Montalcino that produce exquisite grapes. Secondly, it is the guru-like dedication in the vineyards and the winery of the owner Vincenzo Abbruzzese. He is a genius in combining the two into perfectly crafted examples of Tuscan Sangiovese. He makes a regular bottling Brunello as well as a single-vineyard Riserva called Madonna del Piano. JAMES SUCKLING
Vincenzo Abbruzzese is one of the most outspoken, passionate growers in Montalcino. His beautifully tended vineyards yield some of the richest wines in the region; and that’s where most of the focus is – on the vineyards. The winery itself is unremarkable and is equipped with just the bare essentials. All of the wines are aged in large, neutral oak; what comes through is Abbruzzese’s commitment to low yields, sustainable farming and non-interventionalist winemaking. ANTONIO GALLONI
Vincenzo Abbruzzese told me recently that he spends 330 days a year working in the vineyards and very rarely leaves the estate; his passion is his vineyard, his wine and his Arabian horses…not necessarily in that order!
The wines themselves hold enormous power but also convey a litheness and sense of place that sets them apart from many of the newer styled Brunelli (Valdicava sticks to the exclsuive use of larger Slovenian oak in maturation). These are wines that revel in their connection to the ground from whence they come and fill the drinker with a sense of excitement to be in touch with something so authentic. In addition to the wonderful Brunello normale Valdicava also makes a Riserva called Madonna del Piano (Madonna of the Plains) which houses even more depth and nuance.
These are superb traditionally styled Brunelli from one of the world’s most passionate and dedicated producers. MICHAEL MCNAMARA
A visit to Valdicava is something akin to a pilgrimage for fans of Brunello. It feels almost like sacred ground and the way in which Vincenzo and Pier-Filippo speak about their land and the family heritage in the region is with a quiet reverence. Stories of how Pier’s grandfather founded the Brunello Consorzio. How he used to have to climb the hill to the town each day to fetch groceries (I don’t think I would make it half way up that hill). There is a sense of long history here.
Walking around the property the family explain how they have worked for generations and how they have a “feeling for how the land works”. It is striking how healthy the place feels, there is wild grasses and herbs growing around the vines but these aren’t pre purchased cover crops, rather they are abundant because the land is fecund and the Abbruzzese family have long understood that healthy land produces great wine. This is a natural feeling property in a way that few places I have visited are.
Vincenzo is incredibly passionate (an oft overused term but very applicable in this case) about Valdicava property and this extends past their grapes to every aspect of the farm which includes his prize herd of Arabian race horses.
In the barrel room and winery there is lines of huge old casks where a number of vintages sit at any given point as they undergo their slow and timely evolution under the watchful gaze of father and son. Nothing here is hurried and nothing is pushed, each wine grows to its potential at its own pace.
This year the tasting was a little different in so much as there was no new release to look at. For those not aware 2014 in Tuscany was something of a challenge and while there was most certainly some excellent wines made by careful producers Vincenzo elected not to release a Brunello, instead declassifying all the fruit in to their Rosso which some of you may remember, it was great.
There was also only one tiny cask of 2017 as their property was one of the unlucky few who were decimated by frosts. The boys were very upbeat about quality for the vintages they did have in cask but somewhat sombre regarding the fact they had nothing new to offer us or our clients. The solution however turned out to be something special.
Over the years we have been given small amounts of some older wines to sell which are a welcome treat for those who love the estate. Vincenzo has taken it a little further this year allowing us to take a parcel of their best vintages from recent times from his cellar. What we is literally the best of the best over the last 10 or so vintages each of them stored at Valdicava until being shipped to us. There isn’t much, as you would expect these wines are in huge demand around the globe, and the prices haven’t changed since release. This is a remarkable opportunity to obtain some of the greatest vintages from one of the pinnacle estates of Tuscany.
We are offering them first to our VIP Italian customers and at a 20% pre arrival discount. The wines are due any moment now.
If you would like to order any of these or chat about the vintages, both Michael and myself have recently tasted them all and are always happy to chat about these wines, please feel free to contact us at the store on 03 9686 3033 on our mobiles, which are listed below, or simply reply to this email.
Do not miss these wines, each of them are quite something to behold in the glass and those vintages with a little age are drinking beautifully.
*A small note on the Madonna del Pianno vineyard. This was the first vines planted by Bramante Abbruzzese in the 60s on a little hill on the property looking out to the now famous hill of Montosoli. Today many of the vines are so old they bare little fruit. The wine is only bottled separately in the greatest of all vintages. It is one of the region’s most historic wines and a reference point for quality.