12 Year Old Traditional Balsamic
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has a long, venerable history and its production today is closely controlled by the Consorzio Aceto Balsamico di Modena and awarded a Protected Designation of Origin. To fit with the Consortio’s standards, and conform with the PDO rules, wine-quality grapes are cooked down for days, creating a thick, black, caramelised must, which is place into huge oak barrels. From there, it takes up to 12 years to pass through a series of barrels of progressively smaller size (known as a battery). The taste is sublime, mixing elements of wood aroma with date, plum - some people think fruit cake - as well as the sweet start and acidic finish. The length of flavour, even with a small drop, is very, very impressive.
During the Renaissance period (1300-1600), casks of balsamico were given as part of wedding dowries.