Giuseppe Quintarelli was known for his dedication to his land, his craft, the vines, and…for his patience. Quintarelli stressed the importance of patience, and tonight, my patience was rewarded.
I say my patience, but really, having consumed 5 of my 6 bottles within the first three years after release, I wasn’t that patient (but they were delicious, and, I had to!). This bottle, approaching seven years after vintage, was the best of the six I’d purchased upon release – moreover, it was the one that really brought home the message of this (late) visionary maestro.
Usually, it’s pretty easy for me to sense some use of (new, used) oak in a wine. This wine, which sees regular lees stirring, delivers very good freshness, some of the texture that comes with the extended lees contact, but also just a glimpse of some (older) oak. I’ve no idea if that’s correct, but I intend to find out this year during my spring tour. Ultimately, I don’t care if it saw oak, or stainless, or cement, or whatever, this wine is a masterpiece of sophistication and balance – and, it’s just getting going.
The grapes are pressed immediately after harvest, then cold-soaked for 12 hours; following is a temperature controlled fermentation. The varieties in this blend are: Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Bianco, Chardonnay, Saorin; grown on basalt and limestone soils.
As with all great wines (and this great wine comes with a price tag that is -thankfully -very contrary to the high quality within), this leaves a lasting, and for some, permanent memory of what’s possible, what heights can be achieved. I can only imagine what this will be like in another 2-3 years, as I’m not sure its giving all it’s got just yet, even if it what it did give was more than I could have expected. My tasting note follows below.
6 January, 2018, 011 Giuseppe Quintarelli Secco Cà del Merlo Veneto IGT – “Spectacular. Having had five of these since it was released, I thought I knew this wine. I didn’t. As good as it’s been for me already, tonight’s expression was timeless beauty. The color doesn’t appear to have aged at all since release. The nose on the other hand, has developed more fully, more expressively. Still, upon opening, the wine was relaxed – it revealed its charms slowly, purposefully. At first, ginger, citrus, a note of mango, some minerals and seashells/seashore. The next glass, with added air in the bottle, had changed yet again like a theater performer doing a complete costume change – this time, kumquat, stones, a whiff of butterscotch, ripe melon, and on, and on. This continued to evolve, all of it quite positively, for the two hours it was open. Several of us were looking online – to find some more – at the start of our second pour. Remarkable, ageless, and just stunning. In looking back at my previous notes, going back to 2013, each time I’ve had this I push the drink date out further and further; based on tonight’s showing, it would seem to have another 5-7 very good years ahead of it. Absolutely lovely, and an incredible value. 12,5% abv. highly recommended+