Now in the capable hands of Francesco after Edoardo passed in 2006, Valentini continues to make the finest wines in all of Abruzzo, no matter the color. Francesco worked with his father from a very young age and continues the traditional methods that set his family's name apart from the rest.
Over his fifty years of crafting his own wines, Edoardo retained an aura of mystery as to his winemaking; truly what set the wines apart anyway was what happened in his vineyards, some 60 hectares' worth. In keeping with what was tradition prior to the dawn of mass-production, the canopies were trained high, allowing maximum ripeness to occur. We do know there were no modern techniques in the cellar - no stainless steel or Burgundy barrels - and the wines were traditionally only released when they were deemed ready. Edoardo often cut his output even further, selling off up to 95% of his wine every year when it didn't meet his incredibly high standards. So says Doug, "It's similar to white Burgundy - acid for days and structure to age unlike any other."
Apart from the legendary Trebbiano, two wines are made from the Montepulciano grape: the Cerasuolo and the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. The Cerasuolo is a legend in its own right; whereas the Montepulciano is said to macerate for about 25 days, the Cerasuolo receives only a small percentage of that duration, lending the most beautiful translucent cherry-red hue. Almost indescribably, it coats the palate and is simultaneously rich and snappy, the salty-spicy flavors perfectly complementing the bright red fruits.
The Montepulciano Rosso takes on the darker side of fruits, both red and black. With time in bottle (usually held back for at least four years at the estate) this becomes one of the most wondrous reds, both unctuous and savory.