Three days before my European trip I took the subway up to iTrulli where Nicola Marzovilla had prepared a tasting of the legendary Valentini wines. This was a mini-media tour of the wines, a rare chance to taste a vertical. The house in Abruzzo is famously secretive, and it ain't cheap. They rarely allow any one in the cellars and they won't talk technique. But they have a reputation of being one of those old-fashioned sorts and swear that they never vary in the way they make wine. But, who knows. A few weeks back I had a 2000 Trebbiano which had the lees stirred into a souffle--Meursault-like, and I was like, hey guys, what gives? Trebbiano '08 Trebbiano- A lovely purity with ginger and white pepper. Limpid. Nutty. More ginger! And a long, long finish. '05, Lively a bit of a CO2 spritz. Nutty, peach pit fuzz and lacks the '08 focus 1998- Yes! Long and lingering finish, in fact it doesnt finish. Two months later, I can still taste it, and it's great! It even has a food friendly bitterness. 1990- Who squeezed marzipan into the wine? It is stinging and oxidized, a little sherry-jura thing going on with wet wool. I wonder if this is a good bottle. On the other hand, I don't mind it, but it ain't for everyone. Cerasulolo! (this is the famed rose) '08- Some RS, it hurts. A little too much S02? Reduced and brett. Need to see another example before I really understand. '07-- This is LOVE. Poetry. And cinnamon. High alcohol but I forgive. Because the raspberry and cherry hit and finish dry. Montepulciano '02 Root. Radish. Overripe roses. Medium finish with gazpacho! And believe it or not, I loved it. Elegant. how the hell did they do it? '00-- I wasn't fond of the white from this vintage either, correct? Something was going on. It might have been the year that his son took the reigns? But here, it is lactic, reduced, harsh and out of wack. There is something modern here too. Something like syrah and horse and bitter and I register some sort of spoof. Edoardo Valentini died in 2006, and I believe I heard that this was the year, 2000, when his son made the decisions. If this is true, I'm glad to see that some sense has been returned and recent vintages seem in step with the house. But this is total supposition on my part. A guess. Maybe educated, but a guess never the less. And....with sadness the 1985 gave itself over to a dead mouse, but I just knew, underneath it all was a gorgeous wine.