BARRELS OF FLAVOUR, Elisabeth Luard – The Fortnum & Mason Magazine – Spring 2008

fortnum & MasonLa Vecchia Dispensa, suppliers of aged balsamic vinegars to Fortnum & Mason, is a family-run acetaia in Castelvetro di Modena, which has been in business for more than 100 years. […] La Vecchia’s batteria was laid down three generations ago, with six barrels of aged balsamic vinegar brought inot the family by Roberta’s great-grandmother on her marriage. Production remains small-scale and local, with the basic raw materials – wood to repair or replace the barrels, and the mosto – sourced close to home – which renews the contents. The barrel-woods are all native to the region, and the Trebbiano grapes pressed for La Vecchia’s mosto come from a vineyard up to the road, meaning that the vinegar-maker can keep an eye on the harvest. La Vecchia’s balsamics are distinguished by a complexity of flavor underlined by a refreshing sharpness. The depth of colour and desirable viscosity comes from age and nothing else. Delicate and robust, they remain true to themselves to the last delicious drop.