Valdicava means literally “valley of Cava” and the estate is located in a valley in the north side of Montalcino, in an area called Montosoli. The estate was founded by Bramante Martini in 1953, when he decided to take the opportunity of returning to the property where his ancestors, centuries earlier, used to be sharecroppers.
The production of wine didn’t start until 1968, with the first bottles of the iconic Valdicava label not being produced before 1977. Prior to that, bottles were labelled under a generic “Consorzio” indication, along with the family name.
In the meantime, Bramante Martini distinguished himself as the founder of Consorzio di Brunello in 1967, actively contributing to the prestige of this famous appellation.
In 1987, his grandson, Vincenzo Abruzzese, started involving himself in the business. He still runs the estate to this day and is widely credited with having brought Valdicava’s name to the level of excellence, not only within Tuscany and Montalcino, that it enjoys today.
Among his awards, the 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna Del Piano that scored a rounded 100 points from the magazine Wine Spectator, deserves special mention. The 2010 release of the same wine also receive 99 points from American wine critic James Suckling.
Today, Valdicava is consistently included in the top 100 of Italian winemakers and producers.
Valdicava is not the biggest estate, with around 27 hectares of vineyards surface, which are split into 11 plots.
The Sangiovese grape makes up the entire production of Valdicava, as per the rules mandated by Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Valdicava corks around 80,000 bottles, around 6,000 cases over the course of a year.
The estate portfolio is mostly made up of three main wines. These are Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Madonna del Piano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva and Rosso di Montalcino DOC.
Located in the northestern side of Montalcino, Valdicava vineyards enjoy one of the coolest climates of any Brunello appellation. Soils on the vineyards are a combination of clay, sandy and marly features, which are perfectly suited to viticulture.
Under the direction of winemaker and owner Vincenzo Abruzzese, grapes have been grown organically. This means there are no chemical pesticides or fertilisers used on the vineyard. To manage this, Abruzzese employs the expertise of agronomist Andrea Paoletti and oenologist Attilio Pauli, whose work on the estate dates all the way back to 1987.
Yields are limited in order to preserve quality and the wines are left in large Slavonian oak barrels during for ageing. This allows the process to develop as naturally as possible, respecting the fruit and imparting less character when compared to many of its French counterparts.
The estate is also well known for its vineyard’s eponymous wine, Madonna del Piano. The grapes used for this specific production are from the oldest stocks of Valdicava, which were planted in 1970.
Valdicava wines have been through a very peculiar evolution over the years.
Initially, the intense methods of production required a prolonged period of rest in the cellar before being suitable for consumption. In the last decade before 2000, however, wines became a more eclectic affair and were approachable at a much earlier stage, while still maintaining their ability to age over time.
The profile highlighted in the most recent vintages is a wine that keeps the fine balance between body and flavour, but is also characterised by a unique power alongside what is often described as fruity aromas.
For you, we selected a 2007 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino.