Tradizionale Balsamic of Modena (12 year) - 3.5 oz
Available in very limited quantities. In the spring of 2013, when we visited the Acetaia Ponterotto owned by the Tagliavini family, we knew that a family with as much pride, character, and values of producing this traditional balsamic had to be producing something very special. The techniques Tagliavini uses to produce this balsamic are the product of centuries of development and fine-tuning. Generations of vinegar makers have used the same set of rules, and they will continue to. Tagliavini himself may never see the 25-year form of this year's batch of mosto, but others will take his place. The tradition continues. A farmer who produces grape mosto (must) destined to become balsamic will have to spend hours concentrating the must before aging it in an elaborate system of wooden barrels. The annual batch of mosto will be intermingled with a co-aging liquid that will slowly and gently transform into vinegar. In Modena, the vineyards have long been adapted to producing a mosto of such quality as to allow long aging into a dense, vinegar-based condiment. But still, this raw base takes years of careful tending by a vinegar maker. After the 12-year mark or especially after the 25-year mark, the balsamic becomes a dense, complex elixir that is only mildly evocative of grapes or vinegar.