Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena and Reggio Emilia


Traditional Balsalmic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia PDO is a living and evolving ingredient.
To understand the complexity of a unique product such as Traditional Balsamic, the system of colored stamps (lobster, silver, gold) comes to our aid. Unlike what one might think, these stamps do not indicate the vintage! But why? The reason is linked precisely to the exceptional method of production of Traditional Balsamic.

The production of Traditional Balsamic takes place by tamping of different vintages within a battery of several barrels: if you leave the cooked monster in the barrels without ever stuffing them and therefore without mixing the vintages, by virtue of the very strong evoporation (an average of 15% every year) after some time nothing would be found. Therefore, when each time the new acetified cooked grape must is placed in the battery, an average rejuvenation of the contents in the barrels takes place. After at least 12 years of annual bottling and racking, the Balsamic can be subjected to tasting and, if deemed suitable (a fundamental point on which we will return later), bottled.

It follows that the age tout court refers to the battery. But the years of the barrels alone tell us little about the quality of the product and aging is strongly conditioned by human choices and evaporation. For this reason, the system of stamps is used for the Traditional Balsalmic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia PDO, which, rather than certifying a vintage or aging, explains the quality. Quality is the most important element that must be guaranteed by the verification of tasters who express their judgment by means of a score. This score is visually translated into the colored stickers. And so we repeat, once again, that the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar can be bottled only if it passes certain minimum quality scores, regardless of aging. The exceptionality of Traditional Balsamic is also precisely in this, that the very fact that it has been bottled is a guarantee that it is a quality Balsamic.

The sensory analysis of the tasters considers the following characteristics, defining an overall score based on the respective intervals:

visual characters: from 27 to 60 points;
olfactory characteristics: from 44 to 75 points;
gustatory characteristics: from 129 to 210 points.

Each character can in turn be represented through more specific descriptors, established with reference to the tradition and the developments of the sensory analysis criteria. A score below 240 identifies a product that is not suitable for marketing which, consequently, cannot be bottled. The product suitable for marketing is classified into the following categories:

a) score between 240 and 269 (BOLLINO ARAGOSTA)
b) score equal to or greater than 270 (BOLLINO ARGENTO)
c) score equal to or greater than 300, and aging not less than 25 years (BOLLINO ORO)

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