Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP - Affinato - 12 year
This is the creme-de-la-creme. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a carefully guarded treasure of the most esteemed vinegar makers of Modena. Each bottle is the result of numerous blind tastings of the consortio (the association that the vinegar makers belong to that controls the quality). All Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP is bottled at the consortio in a distinctive 100ml bottle that was designed by Giugiaro, a well-known designer for Bugatti, Ferrari and Maserati.
This Balsamic vinegar is created in the traditional method using a Batteria which is a series of barrels. Each successive barrel is of a different wood, and is smaller than the last. Most batterias are a series of barrels from 5 to 9 barrels. Once a year, the grape harvest is made and the resulting grape juice (called must) is slowly reduced over 36-48 hours over a fire. This resulting grape must is put in an oak barrel to age for 6 months. Then, the topping up of the barrels begins. The smallest barrel is re-filled with the balsamic from the next largest barrel, then that barrel is filled from the next largest barrel and so on until the largest barrel is filled from the new grape must that has been aged for 6 months. After 12 years of feeding the batteria with the concentrated grape must the vinegar maker can remove 10% of the final barrel to sell and usually this results in 4-5 100ml sized bottles of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale to sell.
To get an idea of how much effort is put into making this product, if a vinegar master started with 70 liters of grape juice each year that he slowly simmers and topped his barrels up every year for 12 years, there would be approximately 4.5 liters of traditional balsamic vinegar in the final barrel at the end of 12 years. Of this 4.5 liters he would be able to take less than one half of a liter to sell at the end of the 12 years (the rest would remain in the barrel and be topped up from the other barrels. This is certainly not a get rich quick scheme! Its easy to understand why the prices of the traditional balsamic vinegar are so high! This is truly something where you get what you pay for - there is no match for the complexity of an Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale.
Recipe suggestions: This balsamic vinegar is highly viscus, concentrated and sweet. Mere drops are enough to impart a wonderful richness to the food. Accenting Parmesano Reggiano is a favorite of ours, as well as enhancing the flavor of desserts such as cheesecake, gelato or panna cotta. It works wonderfully with fresh fruit as well such as strawberries or peaches. Drizzled over a thick-cut Bistecca Fiorentina, perhaps topped with flakes of Parmesano Reggiano and sprigs of Rucola is a great way to use this exceptional Balsamic.
This is an investment in your kitchen that will serve you for years to come. Best to use by 2022.
Each box contains one 100ml bottle and a pourer made from cork and glass.