(12.5% alcohol): Green-tinged straw. Orange blossom and pear aromas are complicated by hints of fresh herbs, chamomile and chlorophyll. Juicy, spicy and intense, with crisp acidity and a spicy element of orange zest energizing mango and passion fruit flavors. Finishes clean, minerally and precise, with a minty nuance and an obvious green streak to its flavors of citrus oils and spices. The vegetal note is not for me.
Robert Parker 92
The 2005 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo opens with a gorgeous, floral nose. Ripe apricots, flowers and peaches come to life on the palate as this beautiful, textured white opens up over time. Rich and enveloping, the Trebbiano offers exceptional balance and tons of elegance, while the freshness suggests many years of highly rewarding drinking lie ahead. The 2005 is just now entering the early part of its drinking window. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025. Valentini is one of Italy’s most iconic producers. Tiny production, fabulous reputation and limited distribution means the wines are very well known and fiercely sought by cognoscenti but otherwise virtually unknown, at least in this country. Fortunately, it looks like that is about to change now that the estate has taken on new US representation. Valentini makes three wines, all along staunchly traditional lines. The Trebbiano is fascinating for its ageability and the way it acquires an oiliness over time that recalls white Burgundy. The Cerasuolo, a rose, needs to be drunk young, but it is one of the finest roses in all of Italy. Valentini’s Montepulciano is another magnificent wine that has a track record of aging beautifully for 25 years or more after the vintage. Production is just 4,000 bottles per year and the wine is expensive, but it is also incredibly unique. Valentini’s wines can sometimes be awkward when they are first released. In many ways these wines remind me of the Barolos of Giuseppe Mascarello in that they can be a touch disjointed, sometimes even rustic, when young, but then mature spectacularly well with many years in bottle. Proprietor Francesco Paolo Valentini releases his wines only when he is happy with the vintage, which explains the lack of 2006 and 2007 Trebbiano. Readers who can find these wines and have the patience to cellar them (except the Cerasuolo) are in for a treat. Importer: Domenico Valentino, New York, NY; tel. ( 212) 679-0822
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025