Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015
(not yet reviewed, 2012 review below for reference)
94+ points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2020
This is the first vintage of this wine to be released since we saw the 2006 edition. It's been way too long, I'd say. Slightly held back or restrained on first nose, the Valentini 2012 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo opens slowly and contemplatively to sensations of dark fruit, smoke, tobacco and cured meat. Despite the rather heavy and sun-drenched nature of that first wave of aromas, it's impossible to miss the enormous intensity and textural richness packed tightly underneath. That full-bodied power is a celebrated signature of this wine and is a consistent feature of past editions. Give the glass a few robust swirls and a second act is soon to follow. Those heavier dark fruit aromas magically lift to reveal an enormous color palette of camphor ash, saffron and wild licorice root.
I am long overdue for a vertical of Valentini that was first put off because of car troubles and is now deferred indefinitely because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. I can tell you, however, that just as soon as my car and the virus permit, one of my first trips will be to the Abruzzo, if only to touch base with the beautiful territory that shapes this gorgeous set of wines from the iconic estate, Valentini.
- Monica Larner