The Spirit of the Place…..  This is the driving paradigm behind the soul of Valdicava and the very essence of their endeavour.   Run today by the Abbruzzese family, the estate was purchased in 1953 buy the current owners grandfather.  Since 1968,  the estate has been bottling wine from the Montosoli Hill, one of the premier areas of the entire Brunello zone.  Encompassing a total of 333 acres, only 67 are dedicated to vines and only Sangiovese Grosso is grown.

The Valdicava estate refers to a term that exceeds terroir;  “Genius Loci”, which to them has come to mean the combination of perfumes, values, culture, love, soul, and history that is perpetuated in our vines in the most harmonious and elegant equilibrium. 

~ Fortezza Montalcino ~

Recently I caught up with proprietor Vincenzo Abbruzzese and we discussed this idea and how it translates into the finished wines.  
“Giovanni,  great wines are born only in the vineyard.  Therefore, we take the utmost care of each and every vine.  They lack nothing and receive nothing unnecessary or in excess.  To create a great grape, the vine must – at times – struggle, sacrifice and toil.  They must work to sink their roots deep into the hill searching for minerals, food and water. It is only then that they can express the true terroir from which they come.”

Today we’re looking at the estate’s latest release,  the 2010 Brunello and it is stunning.   In the glass the wine is a medium violet with a faint, bright iodine colored rim.  The saturation of color, or rather lack thereof,  might normally cause one to suspect a lack of concentration;  but that would not be wise to assume in this case. 

Aromas explode from the glass in this mesmerizing Brunello.  Flowers, crushed berry, wild herbs, anise, pipe tobacco and fresh mulch are at times individual and harmonic.  A feat rarely experienced in such a young wine.   On the palate the wine is pure and vibrant.  Wonderfully ripe wild berries are juicy and concentrated.  They are wrapped in espresso bean, chestnut, sage, mineral and pipe tobacco overtones.  This is pure.  And the terroir is evident as this reminds of the Altesino Montosoli and the Baricci – both sourced from the same area.  The tannins are plentiful but silky and integrated.  The acids are mouth wateringly fresh.  The final lift of black licorice lo on the finish compels another sip…..   Can this get better?  It’s hard to imagine how.  98 points.  Retail is variable so search around.  Half bottles cost about $70.   Full bottles check in at $105-$140. 

Buon Natale!

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