Archive for the ‘producer’ Category

Trebbiano and Cerasuolo by Valentini

November 8, 2009

Domenico Valentino has secured a limited supply of Valentini’s 2005 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and 2007 Cerasuolo.

Edoardo Valentini produced wine for sale from the 1956 vintage until his death at age 72 in 2006. During that half-century he became widely regarded as Abruzzo’s greatest winemaker. His renown among fans of fine Italian wines grew as bottles of his Montepulciano, Cerasuolo and Trebbiano found their way onto tables and into tastings all over the world. His unique approach to handling vines that were thought inferior by many in the wine community combined with his eccentric personality caused his legend to grow but it was the excellence in bottle that really solidified his reputation as one of Italy’s great craftsmen of natural wines.

Valentini (right) gave up a career in law to return with his family to their ancestral home in the village of Loreto Aprutino, about a half hour inland from Pescara. He tended about 170 acres of vines spread across several vineyard sites as well as hundreds of acres planted to fruit trees and olives. While farming made up a good part of his living, life in a rural village also allowed him to count agriculture and winemaking among his intellectual pursuits.

He was famously reluctant to advise visitors on his techniques in the cellar but we do know through the consistent quality of his wines across the decades that whatever those methods were he practiced them with discipline and expected excellence in quality and style.

Valentini became notorious for his shunning of the media and disregard for wine marketing. Consequently, what little information we can glean about the man and his wines only serves to enhance the mystique surrounding both. The following excerpts are among the most detailed we’ve found describing the way Edoardo Valentini made his wine:

From Italy’s Noble Red Wines 2nd ed. Sheldon Wasserman and Pauline Wasserman, 1991:

His first selection is in the vineyards. If it is a rainy, but not too rainy year, he selects the fruit from the vineyards with a southern exposure; in drier years he chooses grapes from vines facing more northerly. He selects the part of the vineyard least affected by the weather and then selects the best bunches. The rest of the grapes are sold. In the years when he produces wine to bottle, about five percent of his best grapes are turned into wine, the rest of the fruit is sold. At most he makes 50,000 bottles of wine a year; no more than 35,000 of Trebbiano and 15,000 combined of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Rosso. Generally he produces much less. Average production, in the years that he produces, is more like 5,500 bottles of red and 22,000 of white.

He selects from the wine he produces the best to bottle and rejects the rest, usually most of the production. Would that more producers had his integrity.

From Brunello to Zibibbo. Nicolas Belfrage, 2001:

I have already indicated that one producer towers above the rest in terms of quality – this being Edoardo Valentini of Loreto Aprutino. Valentini is one of those geniuses who can be quite impossible as a person, though most forgive him because his wines are so wonderful. I once spent a good half-hour persuading him to sell a few cases of his Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to a client of mine, to which he finally agreed, adding: And how many cases does he want of the Trebbiano? None I replied – he’s only interested in the red. WHAAAAT!!! – he screamed. I have two sons, he ranted, and I cannot accept ‘yes’ for one and ‘no’ for the other. The dispute raged for some time, with his human son and heir trying to pacify him, alas to no avail. I never got the wine. Pity – it was fantastic.

Actually Valentini has three ‘sons’ (vinous ones), because he makes a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo as well as the Rosso and the excellent Trebbiano which my friend didn’t want, although it sometimes attracts higher praise than the red. His methods are quite idiosyncratic, as you would expect. The root of all quality is the vineyard. From his approximately 70 hectares of grapes he selects a tiny percentage for making into wine, selling the rest of the grapes to the nearby cantina sociale at Rosciano. Insisting that there is no rule as to which particular part of the property this year’s grapes should come from, he treats them all during the growing season with the care of a perfectionist, determining only at vintage time what is what, and this only after several passes. This cream is then pressed in old-fashioned presses and fermented in old-fashioned glass-lined concrete vats, ageing taking place in old-fashioned Slavonian-oak botti with, at all stages, minimal intervention. In other words, Valentini is of the school that believes great grapes will make great wine almost by themselves, you don’t have to do anything except make sure nothing goes wrong.

Since Edoardo Valentini’s passing his son Francesco Paolo has carried on the production of the family’s much-admired line of Abruzzese wines with fidelity and rigor. It is evident in tasting that the Valentini legacy remains strong and will be well tended.


For more information contact us at 212-679-0822 or email

Taste Lambrusco downtown!

August 11, 2009

NY Vintners Poster blog

If you’re in lower Manhattan this weekend make sure you stop by New York Vintners! The wine store will be pouring Lambrusco by Lini this Saturday!

New York Vintners
21 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007
(212) 812-3999

Guns ‘n’ Rosés

August 10, 2009


Join us at Bottlerocket on Thursday night for a truly rock’n’roll tasting! As part of their “Get Some” singles night events, the Flatiron wine store is hosting an evening of rosé wines and Nerf Gun practice set to an all-Guns ‘n’ Roses playlist! So if you’ve ever had the urge to drink Lini Rosé while listening to Axl’s scratchy yelp, now’s your chance!

Guns ‘n’ Rosés
Thursday, August 13
5 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011

Joe Campanale pours Lini on NBC!

May 22, 2009

Hot New York restaurateur pours Lambrusco on national television!

joe campanale lini blogJoe Campanale selected Lini’s Lambrusco as one of his favorite wines for summer on NBC’s Today show this morning. In a live segment, the co-owner of Dell’Anima and L’Artusi poured Lini’s Labrusca Bianco and Rosso as part of a selection of his picks for Memorial Day weekend.

In case you missed it, click here to watch the full clip!

One of New York’s youngest restaurateurs, the 25-year old Campanale’s star has risen spectacularly since he opened Dell’Anima in 2007 with Chef Gabe Thompson (below with Campanale outside Dell’Anima). The rapid success of the small West Village hotspot spurred the duo to expand to L’Artusi just one year later. Now, both restaurants are favorite neighborhood destinations for anyone seeking delicious and inventive Italian fare and an excellent selection of wine.


The growing popularity of Lini in New York in many ways mirrors Campanale’s recent success. Since Domenico Valentino’s introduction of Labrusca in 2007, Lini’s range of sparkling, classic Lambrusco has proven a universal hit throughout the city’s restaurant and wine industry, giving rebirth to a unique variety. Now, with an exciting line of refreshing and affordable wines, the Lini brand continues to gather momentum across the United States.

Campanale, whose wine experience extends to sommelier and retailer in some of New York’s most respected establishments, personally oversees the wine programs at Dell’Anima and L’Artusi. A huge fan of Lini and Lambrusco, he didn’t hesitate in adding Labrusca Bianco to both restaurants’ wine lists. Now Joe has helped introduce Lini’s Lambrusco to over two million Today viewers nationwide!

Castello di Verduno

November 28, 2008

Barbaresco, Barolo… plus Pelaverga: classic wines from the heart of the Langhe

At Castello di Verduno, everyone pitches in at harvest time.

At Castello di Verduno, everyone pitches in at harvest time.

When Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco married they brought together two families with rich histories of producing wines in the Langhe. The Burlotto clan has long produced Barolo and Pelaverga in Verduno, where they have blocks in some of that commune’s finest vineyards. The Bianco family comes from Barbaresco, where they have holdings in the historic Rabaja and Faset crus.

Today, Castello di Verduno winemaker Mario Andrion produces a line of excellent wines, including Barolo and Barbaresco, that nod toward the traditional. Yet, he is also one of Piemonte’s up-and-coming “natural” wine-makers, a regular favorite at the Vini Veri (Real Wines) alternative fair held each year outside Verona as a counterpoint to Vinitaly, the Italian wine industry’s annual tradeshow.

If you wish to make a tasting appointment please call 719-902-1140 or email Further information is available on our website.

castello-di-verduno-bottlesPelaverga Basadone 2006
The tiny Verduno or Verduno Pelaverga appellation is perhaps Italy’s smallest: the wine is made from the rare Pelaverga grape exclusively in the hamlet of Verduno. Spicy and aromatic, locals believe that this excellent food-pairing wine possesses aphrodisiacal properties, hence the name Basadone or baciadonne in Italian, the “lady kisser.”

Barbaresco 2004
$420 / case of 12

Castello di Verduno’s classic Barbaresco is blended from two of Barbaresco’s most famous and coveted vineyards, Rabaja and Faset, both known for their longevity and their distinct earthiness. Low-yields and minimalist intervention in the cellar create a traditional-style Barbaresco with impressive aging potential and classic tar and rose petal flavors.

Barbaresco Faset 2001
The grapes for Castello di Verduno’s Faset are sourced from a small, estate-owned (just-under one hectare) growing site in the famed Faset cru of Barbaresco, known for its sometimes “masculine” expression in the otherwise “feminine” Barbaresco appellation. As with all of Castello di Verduno’s wines, the winemaker carries out 100% traditional vinification for this powerful wine: extended maceration and natural fermentation is followed by aging in traditional large oak barrels.

Barolo Massara 2001
Castello di Verduno’s Barolo Massara is sourced from one of the great “crus” or vineyards of Barolo, Massara. Locals call the site a sorì d’la matin, meaning an ideal site that benefits from sunlight in the morning. As a result of the eastern exposure, the grapes sourced from this historic vineyard cool off during the afternoon and can ripen properly even in overly hot summers.

Something bubbly for the holidays

November 14, 2008

Three festive sparklers from Lini to get the season popping


Alicia Lini and baby Alba photographed by Domenico Valentino's Jim Hutchinson at the Lini estate in Correggio, Reggio Emilia, last month.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and at Domenico Valentino we’re already thinking about what to pop this holiday season. That’s why this week we’re featuring three wines from renowned Lambrusco producer LINI910, which are guaranteed to get the party started. Though two of the wines are Lambrusco, two are red, and two are made using the metodo classico, no two are quite the same. The holiday season is the best time to enjoy these very festive sparkling wines from one of our most popular producers.

If you wish to make a tasting appointment please call 719-902-1140 or email

3-bubbly-linisMetodo Classico Bianco 2000
Fabio Lini, a big fan of Champagne, spent years developing and refining his homage to the great French appellation. Lini’s Metodo Classico Bianco is a blend of the classic Champagne varieties Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, and is made using the traditional practice of having the second fermentation happen in bottle. He vintage dates his Metodo Classico and waits at least four years after harvest to release the wine. This remarkable wine is an ideal holiday aperitivo.

Metodo Classico Rosso 2003
“I have discovered the best Lambrusco in the world,” writes Daniele Cernilli, editor-in-chief of Gambero Rosso’s Guide to the Wines of Italy, “and it is called Corrigia Brut. Serve it chilled… paired with charcuterie, fried foods, and flavorful first courses. You can even serve it with just a cracker topped with mortadella: it will make you feel like you can reach up and touch the sky with your finger.” We, like Cernilli, found Lini’s festive and creamy Lambrusco the best we had ever tasted. Pair it with a holiday snack, such as shards of Parmigiano Reggiano and strawberries drizzled ever so gently with a kiss of traditional balsamic vinegar.

Lambrusco Rosso Scuro 2007
Lini’s Lambrusco Scuro is the firmer, more austere relative of our wildly popular Labrusca Rosso. Made of Lambrusco Salamino and Ancelotta, the same Lambrusco sub-varieties that go into the Labrusca, Scuro undergoes a longer maceration and full alcoholic fermentation, resulting in a drier, more structured wine than its cousin. Lambrusco Scuro is perfect with Emilia-Romagna’s meat-based dishes, or even your Thanksgiving turkey.

Fabrizio Santarelli in New York

November 12, 2008

Castel de Paolis winemaker and Lazio consortium president guest of honor at I Trulli

Domenico Valentino's Amelia Di Marco shares an aperitivo of LINI910 Labrusca Bianco with Fabrizio Santarelli at I Trulli.

Domenico Valentino's Amelia Di Marco and Fabrizio Santarelli enjoy an aperitivo of Lini's Labrusca Bianco at I Trulli. Photo James Taylor.

Fabrizio Santarelli of Castel de Paolis arrived in New York this weekend. His visit to the United States provided him with a great opportunity to promote not only his own wines, but also winemaking as a whole in the region of Lazio, and he was our guest of honor at a Lazio-themed dinner for Domenico Valentino clients and wine professionals, held last night at I Trulli.

In addition to owning the Castel de Paolis winery in Grottaferrata, Fabrizio was recently elected president of Le Vigne del Lazio, a consortium of 23 producers whose common aims are wines of quality and the promotion of the region’s product. Lazio is certainly less-revered than Tuscany or Piedmont among wine enthusiasts, particularly outside Italy. But as Fabrizio explained to last night, “The only problem with wines from Lazio is letting people know about them — and taste them!” Fabrizio himself worked in New York until 2001 and delighted in promoting his own wines to buyers and consumers in the city, and of course was “excited and encouraged” by their unanimously enthusiastic response.

I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla

Fabrizio's wife Alessandra looks on as Fabrizio and I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla discuss wine (probably). Photo Alex Dominguez.

Fabrizio enjoyed the spotlight and was happy to discuss his wines, proving an engaging host together with I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla and Domenico Valentino’s Jim Hutchinson. The menu, prepared especially for the occasion by Chef Patti Jackson, featured dishes typical of the region, paired naturally with Fabrizio’s best wines. Guests were treated to the following dishes and wines: saltimbocca di triglie and Campo Vecchio Bianco 2007, timballo di riso and Donna Adriana 2007, and grigliata mista and Campo Vecchio Rosso 2004. To end the meal, a selction of formaggi pecorini were served with two vintages — 2004 and 2001 — of Fabrizio’s blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, otherwise known as I Quattro Mori.

Frank, Nicola Marzovilla, Gianfranco, Alessandra (Fabrizio's wife), Fabrizio, Domenica Marzovilla.

From left: Dr. Frank Butler, Nicola Marzovilla, restaurateur Gianfranco Sorrentino, Alessandra, Fabrizio, I Trulli manager Domenica Marzovilla. Photo James Taylor.

Fabrizio and his wife Alessandra have spent the rest of their time in New York presenting Castel de Paolis’ wines to clients and promoting winemaking in the region. But there was still time to sample some authentic East Coast diner fare, including scrapple sandwiches and microbrewed lager in Williamsburg!

Meet winemaker Fabrizio Santarelli

November 7, 2008

Castel de Paolis producer and Le Vigne del Lazio president in town to present his wines

Fabrizio Santarelli samples wine in the Castel de Paolis cellar.

Domenico Valentino is excited to announce the arrival of Castel de Paolis owner Fabrizio Santarelli to New York! Fabrizio will be in town this week to present his wines to restaurant and retail clients. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!

In the hills of Grottaferrata, just south of Rome, the Castel de Paolis winery has been revolutionizing Lazio wines for two decades. Giulio Santarelli, Fabrizio’s father, overhauled the estate in the 1980s, replanting the terrain with local grapes and international varieties. Today Fabrizio and Giulio are responsible for some of the finest wines to come out of the region in recent years, helping to enhance the image of winemaking in Lazio.

Fabrizio’s efforts have were recently recognized with his appointment as president of Le Vigne del Lazio, a consortium comprising 23 of the region’s best producers, who each share a commitment to maintaining the highest quality product while promoting Lazio’s cultural identity through its wines.

If you wish to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity, please call 719-902-1140 or email Please note that Fabrizio will be in New York only until Wednesday so check your schedules now! Further information is available on our website.

Inferno: The Hottest Side of Valtellina

October 31, 2008

We’ve chosen this Halloween weekend to introduce Conti Sertoli Salis’ 100% Nebbiolo from Valtellina Superiore’s smallest (and warmest) subzone

A spectacular panorama of the Valtellina Superiore subzone.

If you wish to arrange a tasting please call 719-902-1140 or email

Valtellina Superiore Inferno 2004
Conti Sertoli Salis’ 100% Nebbiolo Inferno comes from the renowned subzone of the same name. The smallest subzone within the Valtellina Superiore DOCG is so-called for its warm micro-climate. From the steep sub-alpine slopes, the juice is aged for 12 to 18 months in barrels of Slavonian oak. Conti Sertoli Salis has some choice blocks in the Inferno zone and, using their natural advantage, produce one of the richest and most aromatic Valtalinnas we have had the pleasure to try.

Conti Sertoli Salis
The sub-alpine valley known as Valtellina has long drawn interest from wine drinkers. Leonardo da Vinci even spoke of its winemaking potential in his Codice Atlantico. Today, the Valtellina Superiore DOCG produces some of Lombardia’s most prestigious wines. It is here, in the town of Tirano in the province of Sondrio, not many miles from the Swiss border, that we find Conti Sertoli Salis, a noble family which has been bottling wine since 1869. The company’s cellars are still located beneath the Palazzo Salis, the family’s 17th century palace which is one of Tirano’s most popular tourist attractions.

Built between 1630 and 1690, the Palazzo Salis still houses the winery's cellars.

Casa Emma

October 17, 2008

Domenico Valentino presents three wines from Chianti Classico

As we settle into October, the staff at Domenico Valentino have been enjoying some heartier meals, the kind of dishes which require a strong wine to match. We certainly loves a robust red in the cooler moths, and in times like these, one at an affordable price. If you feel the same way look no further than Casa Emma. The Tuscan winery produce these three modern classics which are available for tasting by appointment next week.

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, and more details are to be found on our blog.

Casa Emma
Located in Barberino Val d’Elsa on the western edge of the Chianti Classico zone, the Buccalossi family acquired the Casa Emma estate in 1972 from Florentine noblewoman Emma Bizzarri, to whose name the company obviously remains connected. Today, around the hills of San Donato in Poggio, the company cultivates Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia Nera and Merlot at 1,300 feet above sea level – an elevation which results in a longer growing season and increased aromas in the fruit. Owner Fiorella Lepri and renowned enologist Carlo Ferrini employ certain modern vinification techniques, to produce the best possible expression of Casa Emma’s terroir and some of the finest Chianti we’ve tasted.

Chianti Classico 2005
This classic expression of the appellation is intended for drinking right away: judicious aging in new wood allows for gentle oxygenation of the wine, thus helping the tannins to mellow and the fruit to show beautifully. This Chianti Classico, with its bright acidity and red fruit in the mouth, will pair well with a wide variety of dishes.

Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
Casa Emma’s Chianti Classico Riserva is made using Sangiovese grapes, with smaller amounts of Malvasia Nera added. The most “classic” of Casa Emma’s wines, this Chianti benefits greatly from the high altitude: all of Casa Emma’s vineyards lie above 400 meters a.s.l. The cooler evening temperatures are a key element in the winery’s ability to achieve Sangiovese with immense
aging potential.

Soloìo 2004
Casa Emma’s Soloìo is made from 100% Merlot grapes grown in one of the winery’s most prized vineyard sites. 18 months of gentle oxygenation in French oak bring out the lush, opulent fruit and chocolate flavors of this truly decadent wine. Soloìo is a great pairing for winter roasts and stews and a fantastic gift idea for “trophy wine” lovers. 2004 was an excellent vintage in Chianti Classico and this wine will drink well for the next 5-10 years.