I’m in Abruzzo this week, on the central east coast of Italy, where wine from hundreds of local wineries is consumed. But only one Abruzzese winemaker has become an international rock star…the venerable Valentini, whose aged white wine fetches astronomical prices in the U.S. The exact wine I’m discussing today CANNOT be purchased in the U.S….but I’m telling you about it anyway, because, should you get to the region of Abruzzo, and drive to the lovely restaurant La Bilancia, just near the hill town of Loreto Aprutino, you will find an astonishing bargain. On the wine list is a young version of Valentini’s famous white wine—at about $75 a bottle, a pretty good value. But Valentini draws off some of the wine from each cask, and sells it ONLY to this restaurant, La Bilancia…which they list on their wine list as “Riserva Privato.” The price? 12 Euros, or about $15! Wow!
It wouldn’t matter if it weren’t excellent…but it is! Pale straw color. Amazing mineral nose, almost like something good from Burgundy. Moderate body, but with great finesse…and great acid!
Terrific wine for food. I enjoyed it with a range of Abruzzese dishes—from eggs with fried green peppers, to pasta with beans, to grilled lamb!