Many wineries put a lot of thought and attention into the way that the cantina looks--Tenuta San Guido, Poggio di Sotto, and Fontodi all have stunning designs. Other wineries like Bartolo Mascarello, Castello dei Rampolla, and Valdicava place function over form. Valdicava's cellar is pure efficiency; it's almost Spartan in its bareness and utility. This aesthetic might be strange when you balance it against the estate's lush, evocative, multi-layered Brunello. However, when you see the vineyards, and all the work that Vincenzo Abbruzzese, Valdicava's owner, and his agronomist put into them, all the indigenous grasses growing between the rows, the tending of trees that line the vineyards, the careful placement of vines, it's not. These are some well-loved grapes. Vincenzo is passionate about making excellent wine, and it shows.
Today, I'm very pleased to present two new releases from Valdicava. I'm bypassing the estate's Brunello that you know and love, and I'm focusing on Valdicava's 2010 cru Brunello Riserva and its exacting 2013 Rosso di Montalcino. The former is an age-worthy giant. This bottle is sleeping now, but when it awakes, it'll be a wine to make memories for decades to come. The latter is a lithe, aromatic beauty that you can drink right now, or you can cellar it and enjoy it over the next few years. Both display the elegance and attention to detail that has made Valdicava a cult favorite.
Every wine has its time, and not all times call for a Sangiovese Grosso, no matter how perfectly made. Along with this dynamic Valdicava duo, I'm delighted to offer two other captivating wines--a gorgeous bottle of Bartolo Mascarello adorned with a label taken from one of Bartolo's own paintings, and Antinori's dessert wine from its Umbrian estate, Castello della Sala Muffato. I love featuring all Italian wines in my eLetters, and you can't go wrong with any of these beauties. Whether the cantina these came from is humble or polished, these wines embody pure Italian style, and I know you can appreciate that.