Traditional Modena Balsamic Vinegar P.D.O. – Extravecchio
Traditional Modena Balsamic Vinegar P.D.O. is the outcome of the specific environmental conditions in the areas surrounding Modena and the types of grapes grown there, together with the skillful cooking of the “must” used and the loving care taken every year when the vinegar is tranferred from barrel to barrel.
After the graps are crushed and before fermentation begins, the must is cooked in open vats, at atmospheric pressure, to a concentration of from 30 to 50%. After lenghty decantation, the cooked must naturally starts both to ferment and to undergo acetic bioxidation by yeasts and acetobacteria. This is followed by the maturing stage, of vital importance for the formation of the unique fragrances of Balsamic Vinegar. Finally comes the ageing stage, during which the vinegar’s characteristics reached true perfection.
The three stages take place in a series of barrels of different woods (generally oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry and juniper) and decreasing size. Each type of wood gives the vinegar a specific characteristic: tannin-rich chestnut darkens its colour, mulberry concentrates it more quickly, juniper gives a resinous tang and cherry sweetens its flavour, while oak, the finest wood for mature vinegar, will give it a distinctive vanilla fragrance. The difference in capacity between the barrels is calculated to allow the annual transfer process to take place. The level of vinegar in each barrel is topped up using vinegar from the barrel immediately before it in the series, to compensate for the finished vinegar taken for use and the annul evaporation loss. These operations require skill and sensitivity to the product’s natural evolution, to ensure it will continue to give the very best results over centuries to come.
This product has a minimum of 25 certified years of maturation.
It has a bright, dark brown colour and it is free-flowing yet dense. Its bouquet is smooth, penetrating, lingering aromatic, with noticeable attractive acidic undertones. It has an unmistakable well-balanced sweet-and-sour flavour, with definite notes of vinegar, lively, sincere, complete, velvety, intense and lingering, meeting the typical characteristics.
The distinctive round bottle with rectangular base in solid glass is compulsory for all the producers, as provided in the Production Regulation, and carries a numbered seal. The box contains the Consorzio manual in different languages.