Dec
21
2009

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 1998, 97 points

1998 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella

(Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella)

Flawless outstanding producer. I opened this wine up by accident and then went to my list to find it was about 450 bucks a bottle. Well… the good thing is before I knew the cost I was absolutely savoring every minute of this amarone. Lush and velvety. We decanted for about 30 minutes and this wine flourished throughout an hour. The color was on the brownish side. Typical old world feel. The nose was HUGE and towering of anisette, raisin and plums with a good dose of roses and cedar. The palate was an explosion on the start. This is a heavy wine and coats the mouth with chocolate, plumb,floral, black licorice and soft tobacco. The mid palate stayed consistent and the tannins were just right.  After an hour the tannins really rounded out and this wine got very soft while maintaining the flavors.  The finish was long and balanced. Floral and cedar still lingered.  I can’t say enough about this wine.  If you ever get a chance this is a definite try because you will always remember the experience.

“Valpolicella’s magician.” “The master of the Veneto.” “The patriarch of Amarone.” “The traditionalist.” Not bad for a winemaker who simply follows the winemaking customs of his forefathers. Giuseppe Quintarelli’s hand-written labels are easy to recognize and his wines fit the idiosyncratic style. Since 1924, his family has made wine from grapes grown on steep slopes on the outskirts of Negrar. For his highly-regarded Amarone, he still dries the grapes in an attic room, ages the wine for years in large Slavenian casks, and holds the wines from release until he is sure of their readiness. His magic has worked, as he has turned some of Veneto’s most traditional wines into luxury icons.

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