Valentini 2016 Trebbiano d’AbruzzoRegular price £110
Valentini's Trebbiano is, according to many, Italy's greatest white wine. It is also one of its rarest and most mysterious. The winery is impossible to visit and information about the winemaking unreliable. Edoardo Valentini died in 2006, passing the estate to his son, Francesco Paolo. Edoardo routinely refused almost all requests for visits and information, and is even thought to have sent his therapist to wine fairs in his place. Francesco Paolo has kept things much the same. What is clear is that there is an uncompromising focus on quality. From what little information can be gleaned, it seems that up to 95% of the grapes grown are sold off, with only the most perfect 5% retained. If you are familiar with Trebbiano only as a low-quality blending grape, this wine is astonishing. It has a characteristic smokiness and the tension and balance of great white Burgundy, but is distinctively Italian. It can age and improve for decades.