Tradizionale Extra Vecchio Vinegar
Cooked Grape Must
When only the very best will do, use Extra Vecchio Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. Only the highest quality balsamic vinegars produced in Modena can bear this label, and each is the sublime fruit of at least 25 years of supreme artistry, skill, and the pursuit of excellence. They are their producers’ finest achievements.
This Extra Vecchio balsamic isn’t just the highest grade of balsamic available. The producer, Compagnia del Montale, has won the Balsamic Consortium’s Spilamberto Prize for finest balsamic of the year (the highest honor in the industry) twice with their Extra Vecchio – once in 2003 and again in 2012.
3.5oz bottles may seem small, but it only takes a little extra vecchio vinegar to make food sing.
Traditional balsamic vinegars are characterized by a flavor that is bright (acidic) yet dense, balanced in both sweet and sour, and richly aromatic. They are a deep dark brown with a smooth, silky texture. Extra Vecchio vinegar offers a better, more developed flavor than even the exceptional Affinato vinegar.
How Extra Vecchio Vinegar is Judged
The term “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar” (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale) is not simply a descriptive term for balsamic vinegars that have been traditionally aged in cask, but a tightly controlled standard of quality and indicator of aging. In order to be Tradizionale vinegars, these products must have been aged at least 12 years and passed a series of taste test evaluations overseen by the Consortium of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
The term “Extra Vecchio” is even more tightly controlled, being essentially the highest honor and grade that can be awarded to Tradizionale vinegar. Traditional Extra Vecchio vinegars are aged a minimum of 25 years, and must have received perfect or near perfect scores in the Consortium’s tests. They are the finest balsamic vinegars available.
This balsamic vinegar was traditionally made using a process that involves cooking 100% Modena-grown grapes down into must, slow-aging that must in a series of wooden casks, and finally bottling when the flavor and consistency is just right. Read How Balsamic Vinegars are Made for more information.
Store aged balsamic vinegars in a cool, dry place.
RECIPES & TIPS
Extra Vecchio is the ultimate balsamic vinegar and has such a deep, complex flavor that you only need a few drops per plate.
Try drizzling just a little bit onto Parmigiano Reggiano, roasted or grilled vegetables, salad greens (especially bitter greens like Treviso radicchio), bruchetta, sweet fruits (strawberries, figs, apricots, watermelon), and cooked meats or poultry (especially grilled).
To preserve its full flavor, do not cook Extra Vecchio balsamic vinegar, but instead add it to a just-finished dish.