Valentini Trebbaino may be Italy’s most extraordinary white wine. We believe it to be. Wildly textural, mineral-laden, and savory, this wine is perplexing in the best possible way. Valentini Trebbiano usually requires close to five years in bottle before it is approachable, but your patience will be rewarded.
Mystic curiosity surrounds the winery as very few people are welcome at the estate, but here is what we know. Valentini’s rich historical legacy dates back to 1650 and was first recognized for its exceptional quality in 1868 by Camillo Valentini. The property was not initially managed by a family member but in the 1950s Edoardo Valentini took on the responsibility of managing the estate. It is Edoardo who has been attributed to gaining a cult following for these wines. Following his passing in 2006, his son Francesco Paolo continued his legacy, and today, the estate is in the capable hands of Edoardo’s grandson, Gabriele. This estate is so committed to quality, that they will not release a wine they believe to be incorrect.
Valentini uses a very specific clone of Trebbiano, Trebbiano d’Abruzzese. This is very different from the Trebbiano you find at Roman trattoria. It is considered a noble variety of the Trebbiano grape. The combination with the rigorous sorting at harvest, organic farming methods, and traditional pergola vineyard trellising seems to be the recipe for success. Merely 5% of the grapes are retained for Valentini Trebbiano, while the rest are sold to other wineries. By carefully selecting only the finest grapes, they ensure wines that possess both consistent quality and the ability to mature beautifully over time.
In keeping with their natural ethos, Francesco Valentini uses native yeasts for fermentation and avoids adding sulfites in the winery. Post fermentation the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in old oak barrels, creating a smooth and creamy texture. The barrels also contribute toasty flavors and expose the wine to just enough oxygen to add nutty notes.
Descriptors we have used to characterize this wine are complex, savory, nutty, crunchy, textural, toffee, chai, coffee, pineapple, backing spice, bruised orchard fruits, and salty. This wine draws a plethora of complexities.
While I have tasted all of these wines within the past five years, I have not kept diligent tasting notes. At my time spent working at Maialino, I was fortunate enough to have opened countless bottles of Valentini and to this day I will never turn down a bottle. Below you will find tasting notes from both me and a few of the industry's highly esteemed palates.
Quantities here are incredibly limited. Please keep in mind that the fastest way to secure any these wines is directly on the site.
Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2015
Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2016
Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2017
Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2018
Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2019
(Valentini Trebbiano D’abruzzo White) Good bright yellow. The pure, complex nose suggests lime, yellow apple and botanical herbs. Then very precise, intense and penetrating, if still youthfully unevolved, conveying a powerful, three-dimensional impression of extract and a deep, textured, multilayered mouthfeel. The wine closes very long and juicy, with herbal and saline elements that titillate the taste buds. Another outstanding wine from Valentini, who never misses a beat with his Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. (Drink between 2022-2033)
By Ian D'Agata
Abruzzo and Molise: Another Brick in the Wall (Sep 2019), 9/1/2019, (See more on Vinous...) 93+ points
View From the Cellar
(Trebbiano d’Abruzzo- Valentini) The 2016 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo from Eduardo Valentini is a beautiful wine that is just starting to hint at its plateau of peak maturity at six years of age. The bouquet is bright, complex and still a hair youthful, jumping from the glass in a mix of tart orange, lemon, salty soil tones, a touch of green olive, wild fennel and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with a fine core, lovely mineral drive and grip and a long, zesty and beautifully balanced finish. Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2022-2050)
By John Gilman
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One Kourt Studio
A recent bottle of 2017 Valentini was in a gorgeous place. Enjoyed over two hours. The wine open up, revealing its bright yellow and golden hue, showing notes of candied ginger, almond skin, and perfectly ripe pineapple. As the wine opened, it revealed notes of smoked citrus and tangerine oil. The palate was waxy and textural with notes of papaya, ocean spray, dukkah spice, and umami. The length was drawn out by saline energy. Will drink well for another 5-8 years.
By Kimberly Cavoores: Owner of One Kourt Studio
(Valentini Trebbiano D’abruzzo White) The zesty and wickedly fresh 2018 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo enthralls with a perfumed dusting of confectioners’ spice over a core of lemon confit, lime zest and smoke. This is actually playful and energetic on the palate, packed full of acidity and a sizzling of salty minerals that create a reverberation of tension that travels to your core. A coating of primary concentration lingers on the palate through the lightly structured finale, promising longevity despite the 2018’s undeniably drinkable character today. Frankly, it’s hard not to drink instead of taste. (Drink between 2024-2034)
By Eric Guido
(Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo White) The 2019 Trebbiano d'Abruzzo displays a vivid yellow-golden color. The bouquet captures the imagination as dried apricots and peaches are complemented by almond custard and cardamon. It's the fruit that impresses first, ripe yellow apple and young peach, followed by depths of stony minerality and enriching hazelnut traces. The 2019 keeps the taster guessing, at first juicy and remarkably fresh, then suddenly adding tension and a salty flourish that sways the sensation to the savory spectrum. This is expertly balanced, wonderfully complex and easily one of the most exciting young Trebbianos I've ever tasted from Valentini. (Drink between 2023-2035)
By Eric Guido