Giuseppe Quintarelli "Alzero" Cabernet 2008 [1.5L MAGNUM]
Regular price $1,350.00 Sale price $899.97 Save $450.03
About the Winery:
The late, great Maestro del Veneto, Giuseppe Quintarelli, fondly known as “Bepi” to those closest to him, was a perfectionist in every way. From the beautiful handwritten labels, to the best possible quality cork, to the exquisite wine in the bottles, the Quintarelli name is a stamp of authenticity and the ultimate indication of an artisanal, handmade, uncompromising wine of the highest quality. Over the course of an amazing sixty-year career, he succeeded in establishing his legendary estate. Today, the winery continues under the guidance of grandsons Francesco and Lorenzo, still producing artisanal, handmade, uncompromising wines of the highest quality.
Quintarelli is considered the father of Amarone, with an ancient history that dates back to the early 1900s in Negrar, the epicenter of Valpolicella, where between 12 hectares of vineyards and with the utmost respect for tradition, about 50,000 bottles a year are produced. The property grows Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, plus small amounts of Sangiovese, Oseleta, Croatina and Saorin, the latter an ancient local white variety that they are looking to propagate with the help of the local nursery. The average age of the vines is roughly 25 years old, resulting from the combination of recently planted young vineyards that are only 7-8 years old and others that are about fifty years old.
About the Wine:
• Harvested before most other grapes, at the end of August and beginning of September
• Careful selection of grapes during harvest
• After harvest, grapes sit in wooden boxes or on rush mats
• Dried grapes are pressed in mid-December
• Grapes are pressed and after 20 days of maceration, alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts
• Fermentation lasts approximately 50 days
• Wine is then aged in French barrels for two or three years, then racked into Slavonian oak barrels for four more years
• During this aging process, additional alcoholic fermentations take place
Alzero is one of the hardest wines to find from Quintarelli and like his Amarones, can be counted among the greatest wines of Italy. The wine is made in almost the same way as his Amarones in that this is 100% appassimento. The grapes are harvested and then left to dry until mid-December, then crushed and fermented in the usual way. The wine spends the same amount of time in barrel as the Amarones, but part of that time is spent in French oak, then transferred to large Slavonian oak casks.
The main difference between Alzero and the Amarone is that this is made from Cabernet Franc (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) and Merlot (20%), but make no mistake, this is not a 'me too' Super Tuscan or Bordeaux/Napa style wine by any measure. This is a Quintarelli wine, and that means no compromise, no wavering from their 'tradition-or-die' philosophy. And besides, how many Cabernets do you know that clock in at 16.5% alcohol?
Ratings & Reviews
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"This wine was first produced in 1983, and production remains unbroken because no vintage was ever skipped. The 2008 Cabernet Alzero is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with 20% Merlot. These are the first grapes to be picked in September. After harvest, the grapes go through two or three months of appassimento and up to nine years of aging in large oak casks. Indeed, the winemaking process used here is identical to that of the Amarone, only this wine maintains a more international identity thanks to the grape varieties used. Dark plum, blackberry and raisin intermingle with spice, tar and tobacco. This vintage registers a 16.5% alcoholic content, and there is, once again, plenty of textural fiber and richness to support and cushion that heat." - Monica Larner (Aug 2019)