Tasting Notes: This Balsamic is an IGP which is one of the reason it is much less expensive than the $100 per 100ml cost of the top of the line DOP Balsamic Vinegar's. Unlike the DOP which are minimum 12 or 25 years of age, these vinegars have less age in cast and less restrictions on the source of 'grape must' used to make them. The Cavedoni family still takes pride in their IGP and it shows in the richness and thickness of all their IGP vinegars, they source their 'grape must' from their own vineyard and have told me this vinegar has a minimum of 2 years aging.
It has great aroma including hints of oak and chestnut wood, great taste in the mouth with clean tart taste from the front to the back of the tongue. This balsamic is ideal for using as a finishing Balsamic rather than for making a vinaigrette.
Uses: Great as a finishing vinegar and not one to use in blends due to its strength and beauty as is out of the bottle. It works well on fruit(strawberries, others) or cooked vegetables to add some rich acidity and brightness, topping on Ice cream.
About the Producers: For seven generations the Cavedoni family has been producing the highest quality balsamic vinegars in their acetaia in the foothills of Modena, Italy, Cavedoni was started by Paolo and Marcello Cavedoni on the family estate in Castelvetro around 1860. Lorenzo Cavedoni lead the family business for many years and developed a strong love and passion for the production of balsamic vinegar, a tradition that continues today with the Cavedoni family. Il Caratello is one of Cavedoni's most prestigious and successful vinegars. Aged in oak and chestnut barrels, it is of excellent and balanced quality. Its high density and soft body make it extremely useful in cooking. Delicious directly from the bottle on salads, meats, and vegetables.The Il Caratello is aged for a minimum of 2 years in oak and chestnut barrels, creating a superb cooking balsamic that can be used on many foods such as fine cheeses, quality cuts of meat, vegetables, and even ice cream and gelato. Once tasted, you will have experienced one the finest examples of traditional Italian culinary artisanship. It is a exquisite balsamic vinegar that has been aged in small barrels. Paolo and Marcello handpick the Lambrusco Grasparossa grapes exclusively from their family vineyards. Afterward the must is collected in small batches and cooked for a specific time to guarantee the proper density before being placed in their barrels, along with some wine vinegar made from Pignoletto grapes to ensure that the San Lorenzo maintains a 6% acidity . The resulting flavor has a depth and flavor in the tradition that the balsamic vinegars of Modena have become famous for with a deliciously refreshing twist! The Il Caratello can be used as a cooking balsamic. It is best when used as an element of a sauce or vinaigrette.