Archive for September, 2008

The Return of D’Angelo

September 19, 2008

Welcoming back wines from a master of Aglianico

This week Domenico Valentino welcomes the return of wines by Donato D’Angelo, legendary Basilicata winemaker and a key figure in Aglianico del Vulture’s rise to international prominence.


Basilicata's spectacular hills around Monte Vulture provide the backdrop for Donato D'Angelo's vineyards.

Today, Aglianico del Vulture is emerging as one of Italy’s winemaking areas of greatest potential. Donato D’Angelo was instrumental in garnering international recognition for the wine through his determination to have serious wine consumers recognize Aglianico as one of Italy’s most important varieties. Donato, who with his brother Lucio inherited the D’Angelo Cantina from their father Rocco, began producing wines in Rionero in 1973. He had just returned from study at the prestigious Oenological School of Conegliano in the Veneto inspired to make the best wine he could out of a grape variety in which he truly believed. Among his many innovations, Donato was the first wine-maker in the Vulture zone to age wine in French-oak barriques.

Villa dei Pini 2007
A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Incrocio Manzoni, Villa dei Pini marries the ancient volcanic subsoil of Southern Italy with international grape varieties.

Sacravite 2006
Blended using riper fruit sourced from the estate’s vineyards, a fantastic introduction to Aglianico del Vulture.

Serra della Querce 2005
Here Aglianico’s stiff tannin and pronounced acidity is tempered with a significant amount of Merlot.

Canneto 2005
Since 1985 D’Angelo’s Canneto has highlighted Aglianico’s best attributes for an international market.

Caselle 2003
Though this Aglianico Riserva wine has remarkable aging potential it is already drinking well.

Valle del Noce 2003
Likened to the wines of Piemonte and Bordeaux, this 100% Aglianico can age for upwards of 20 to 30 years.

What the press says about D’Angelo

“The Aglianico Wines of Monte Vulture in Basilicata have long been famed for their quality — the poet Horace was singing their praises a couple of thousand years ago. [In Basilicata] production is controlled by merchants, only a very few of whom, until very recently have cared a damn about quality. Those who do, however, can do an amazingly good job, and rightly claim parity with some of the best [Aglianico] of Campania.”
—Nicolas Belfrage, Brunello to Zabibbo (2003 edition)

“Vigna Caselle is the finest traditional Aglianico del Vulure as well as one of the few Riservas still made.”
—Edward Behr, “The Traditionalist Holdouts: D’Angelo in Rionero”, Art of Eating (2007)

“Donato D’Angelo has been carrying the Aglianico del Vulture banner practically single-handedly throughout the world’s markets since the 1970s.”
—Ed McCarthy, “Italy’s Great Unknown: Aglianico del Vulture”, Wine Review Online (2007)

If you are interested in these wines and wish to arrange a tasting, please call 718-902-1140 or email info@domenicovalentino.

Our full portfolio is available at


September 16, 2008

Yesterday Domenico Valentino hosted its Fall Portfolio Tasting at Centovini. The event was a tremendous success and we wish to thank all those who attended. We hope you enjoyed the wines and look forward to seeing you again soon!


Amelia Di Marco discusses Tuscan wines by Guido Gualandi and Travignoli.


Jim Hutchinson pours Aglianico wines by D'Angelo.

Centovini provided a dramatic setting for our comprehensive portfolio tasting.

Flavio Prà’s Soave Classico

September 5, 2008

Flavio Prà studied with some of Veneto’s finest winemakers to become an experienced and enterprising young producer with his company, I Campi. His focus is the importance of an ideal terrain, and the complete elimination of chemicals from the winemaking process.

Domenico Valentino is pleased to introduce Flavio Prà’s Soave Classico, named Campo Vulcano, a crisp and refined blend of the DOC’s primary varieties, Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave.

The wine will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you wish to arrange a tasting, please call 718-902-1140 or email info@domenicovalentino.

Our full portfolio is available at

I Campi di Flavio Prà

Fourth-generation producer and brother of winemaker Graziano Prà, young Flavio Prà has already established himself as a renowned figure in Veneto, forging a reputation as one of the region’s best producers of Soave and Valpolicella.

A keen student of enology, following graduation Flavio worked for 15 years as a consultant to some of the area’s top wineries who sought to produce wines of the highest quality. This experience, while broadening his knowledge of the winemaking industry also allowed him to hone his craft and conceive of his very own brand.

Flavio states that terroir and terrain are essential factors in producing a superior wine, a philosophy which led him on a search for the zone’s most optimum “campi” (literally “fields”), from which the company takes its name.

All of Flavio’s vineyards are cultivated using natural methods. The estate has successfully abolished all chemical herbicides in the belief that a terroir can no longer exist as such if it becomes sterilized by continuous chemical interventions.

Soave Classico Campo Vulcano 2007

The Soave Classico denomination specifies Soave hailing from the neighboring towns of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone, each located roughly 20-25 kilometers east of Verona. These sites are considered the oldest in the Soave DOC, and are often referred to as the “zona storica“. Flavio Prà’s Soave Classico is a blend of Garganega (85%) and Trebbiano di Soave (15%), grapes which are grown on 100% volcanic earth, resulting in the name “Campo Vulcano“. Intense both in its straw yellow color and on the nose and palate, the wine remains fine and fresh, releasing aromas typical of the two primary Soave DOC varieties.