1997 Amarone della Valpolicella Giuseppe Quintarelli

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Average critic rating : 94.0 points



Quintarelli’s 1997 Amarone is seductive from the first aromas that float from the glass. It offers a myriad of dried cherries, plums, tea leaves, earthiness, spices, smoke and herbs in a deceptively medium-bodied style bursting with flavor. Constantly changing in the glass, this is a sensual wine of contrasts. it is sweet yet dry, rustic yet incredibly elegant, all at the same time. Unfortunately I have encountered a significant amount of bottle variation with this wine, most recently from two bottles purchased at the same shop. Bottle variation is always frustrating but at roughly $350 a pop this degree of inconsistency is especially painful. A bottle tasted several months ago showed levels of volatile acidity that are high even for this producer, and which obscured everything else in the wine. This bottle, though, tasted in August of 2007, was magical. The phrase caveat emptor has never been more appropriate. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2017. Antonio Galloni, eRobertparker.com # 173 Oct 2007

Icon is a word that only goes some way to describe the late Giuseppe Quintarelli. The master of the Veneto, Giuseppe established the family estate, which was founded in 1924, as not only Veneto’s most important, but one of the world’s finest during his sixty-year career. The estate is now run by his daughter and grandchildren, but the Quintarelli name still stands as a stamp of authenticity and traditional, artisan production of the highest possible quality.

The flagship wine of the estate is the exceedingly rare Amarone della Valpolicella - one of the most traditionally produced Amarones, which is aged for seven years in Slavonian oak botti. However, despite being known for tradition, an innovative streak runs throughout the estate. It was the Quintarelli Valpolicella that opened the eyes of fellow producers, showcasing just what is possible from the region and their portfolio includes non-traditional blends. The dry white wine Bianco Secco, for instance, blends several local varieties and the brilliant Primofiore, combines the traditional with the not-so-typical Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc.

A visit to the estate shows that Giuseppe’s spirit lives on. Spitting is still prohibited: the wine is what is important here and there is a tangible feeling of ‘respect’ for the wines, the property and tradition. This is one of Italy’s greatest estates: one with a spirit and a heart.

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