Giuseppe Quintarelli "Alzero" Cabernet 2009 [1.5L MAGNUM]
(Veneto, Italy) - [VM 96]
Regular price $1,300.00 Sale price $874.97 Save $425.03
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?
Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot
Ratings & Reviews
96 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2009 Alzero Cabernet is a knockout, showing a captivating display of sour cherries, licorice and mint offset by mocha and hints of tobacco. This is elegance personified, as a velvety wave of sweet red and black fruits is further complemented by confectionary spices and contrasting notes of espresso and cacao. There is so much energy to be found within the 2009. It bristles with residual acids, minerals and sour citrus through the finale, while still showing a gorgeous inner sweetness through a note of ripe plums under an air of violets and lavender. This is so easy to like today that it’s hard to recommend waiting. However, there’s much more to be seen over time, and patience will be rewarded. The Alzero Cabernet is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot dried prior to vinification through appassimento." - Eric Guido (Feb 2021)