Wine Advocate 91 points - The 2008 Montepulciano d?Abruzzo Binomio is the darkest and most opulent of the estate?s 2008s. Blackberry jam, grilled herbs and flowers flesh out in a jammy, full-bodied wine bursting with fruit, while varietal notes take more of a back seat. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018. (Feb 2013)
Wine Spectator 92 points - This begins with a sweet and savory mix of vibrant raspberry, blackberry and plum skin notes, woven with hints of milk chocolate, grilled herb and cured olive. Needs time for the assertive tannins to resolve. Best from 2014 through 2022.óN.W. (Dec 19 2012)
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Founded in 1990, Fattoria La Valentina is located in Spoltore, Italy along the Adriatic coast. Owner Sabatino Di Properzio founded the property in 1990 to revitalize the venerable wines of this region Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. In 1998, Di Properzio partnered with Stefano Inama to launch Binomio, a project dedicated to producing authentic expressions of terroir and variety using traditional farming methods. That same year, Di Properzio hired winemaker Luca D’Attoma. Luca combines organic and biodynamic practices with modern technology to grow the best quality fruit possible. The 49 acre, south-southwest facing Bellovedere vineyard is situated on a hillside near the Adriatic Sea and is planted with 10-30 year old Trebbiano, Pecorino, and Montepulciano vines. The nine acre Binomio vineyard sits at 1,312 feet at the foot of Maiella Mountain in southern Abruzzo and is planted to Montepulciano. Soils at the estate are a blend of clay, clay-calcareous marl and loose, medium-grade sandstone. The area’s warm and dry summer paired with cold winter temperatures provide the ideal growing environment. Estate vineyards in Scafa and San Valentino total 37 acres and are planted with Trebbiano, Pecorino, Montepulciano and Fiano vines that range from 4-40 years old.
Binomio started off as a challenge in 1998. The idea was to produce a great, structured yet modern Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Fattoria La Valentina and Azienda Agricola Inama developed the project during the first two vintages of ’98 and ’99. Using these wines we started to perfect the recipe in order to get the best from this vine.
The operation really took off in 2000 with the purchase of an extraordinary vineyard in Localita San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore. This old 4.2-hectare vineyard was planted in the 1970s in a splendid position facing south at an altitude of about 400 metres very near to the Majella National Park. It had had a rather troubled past and had gone through several hands before ending up as a lot in a legal auction where we were able to buy it. Strangely we were the only ones participating at the auction. In fact, the vineyard was known for its poor production and nobody wanted it!
The vineyard was completely restored in the spring of 2009. The excellent location, an original Montepulciano d’Abruzzo area, the climatic conditions and, above all, the grape variety, an ancient clone called Africa (nowadays called Africa-Binomio), producing short-tailed bunches with small berries, that resemble the shape of the African continent, have allowed us to produce a superb wine in a short time. Vine cultivation is kept to a minimum, with little weeding and few human interventions.
The natural humus means that no fertilizers are needed. Right from the very beginning we realised that the grapes grown in our vineyard had unique characteristics: subtle hints of wild strawberry and other dark berries, rich in colour, long-lasting flavour and total phenolic maturity. We have maintained production at about 50 quintals per hectare with limited but regular de-rooting, in order to achieve a great wine every year. Ideal climatic conditions and good soil composition do the rest.
Our production methods faithfully follow a non-invasive approach. For Binomio Montepulciano, simple wine-making practices enable us to obtain a fresh and decisive wine that is not too overbearing but is able to age for a period of eighteen months in barriques without being transferred. All carried out with no technological devices nor any fancy productive religions. Starting from a selection of the Binomio vineyard, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Superiore is macerated for two days and fermented without skins in second/third-use barriques.
Matured and refined for about 6 months on the lees with ”batonnage” it’s then decanted into steel vats and left on its fine lees for a further 4 months. It is filtered and bottled in the summer. From its character, it could actually be considered as a reserve wine. In fact, it is released some months later respect to other wines of the same appellation.