May 2016

Valentina Cubi ( came to pick us up. I taste her Amarone and Valpolicella every year at the major tastings in Verona and I always think about visiting her estate. But, as often happens, time marches on leaving my good intentions in the dust.  

I am so glad I finally made the trip: she is a fascinating woman, with a clear idea of what she expects from her wines.

Since 2010 the estate has used organic production methods. “Valentina is a purist,” says Silvia Rama, Sales and MarketingDirector.

Among the wines I tasted:

2013 QB (Corvia, Rondinella, Molinara, plus 30% Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon). Smooth, easy, elegant.  Dark, rich color. A hint of iris on nose. Silky texture. A wave of fruit (ideas of cherry, blackcurrant, bramble) and dark spices that delivers real pleasure on the palate.

2018 Valpolicella Classico “Iperico

Vibrant light ruby. An attractive transparency. A smattering of black pepper over a tight weave of fine berry fruit.  

Our after-tasting conversation turned to travel.

Valentina, who has travelled extensively in Africa, Malaysia and Northern Pakistan, told me: “I used to travel with 9 kilos of photographic equipment.” For her 60th birthday she and 13 other women travelled through Ethiopia where they roughed it, camping out, living in tents.

I asked her what she took away from that experience. “I learned that we should appreciate what we have,” she said.  From other things she said, I also gather that she has developed a sincere respect for other cultures.

What’s next on her travel agenda? “I would like to photograph the aurora borealis.” 

Tomorrow she is off to Amsterdam and then on to Prague for business.  I suggested she look for an importer in Scotland in order to have a reason to go there and photograph the aurora borealis. She paused and said almost to herself: “Yes. Humm. that would be in January.” 

Earlier in the month I tasted…

Corte Quaiara Pinár 2013 (1oo% Pinot Noir) Supple richness on the palate, an amalgam of fruit flavors (red currant, black berries, wild berries), with a floral whisper (violets). A long and flavorful finish. Very satisfying. Certainly, a box to tick for those keeping a list of interesting Pinot Noirs.