Weekend Edition – Quintarelli and Chave

June 14, 2014
Giuseppe Quintarelli and Jean-Louis Chave
The Big, Bold and Beautiful:
A Master of the Classic and an Ancient Modernist
Giuseppe Quintarelli“The wines of Quintarelli are completely different from the standardized, repetitive and boring wine commodities that you so often find among Amarones today…They are very expensive, rare and not so easy to understand. They are wines that require intelligence, experience, culture, patience and time, all elements so different from the simple, fast appreciation of wine today.” — Franco Ziliani, Italian wine journalist. Giuseppe Quintarelli, the “Master of the Veneto,” established a fantastic reputation as the benchmark producer in the Veneto in the northeast of Italy.  He was famous for his Amarones, Recioto Valpolicellas and the ‘cult’ wine Alzero, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.  He also was the inspiration for and instructor of many well-known producers in the region, including Romano Dal Forno.  When he passed away at the age of 84 in 2012, he left behind a sixty-year legacy as the stalwart supporter of a traditional and conscientious approach to winemaking.  His family now follows in his footsteps as the managers of the estate.Giuseppe’s father, Silvio, was a sharecropper of vineyards in the Veneto.  He first exported his wines to the US in 1900.  After the First World War, Silvio purchased vineyard land and established his own winemaking estate in the hills surrounding the village of Negrar in the Veneto.  Guiseppe began working with his father on the estate in the 1950s.  He was constantly attempting to improve the viticultural and vinicultural practices to improve the wines.  He also enlarged the vineyard holdings to the now 27 acres of land.  Today, the estate is managed by Giuseppe’s eldest daughter, Fiorenza, and her husband Giampaolo Grigoli.  Their children, Francesco and Lorenzo, who worked under their grandfather, will take over production when their parents retire.

Giuseppe’s attention to detail and quality in the vineyard and during the long process of winemaking are what set him apart.  He encouraged drastically small yields and trained the vines in the traditional Pergola Veronese system.  This encourages the vines to form a tall, protective canopy to keep the grapes from becoming damaged due to the hot sun.  Shielding the grapes helps them retain acidity to produce a balanced wine.  Multiple passes are made through the vineyards as each berry is selected for a specific wine.  Most of the grapes are dried on traditional rush mats, in the appassimento method, before pressing.  The wines are made in limited production; the estate produces 60,000 bottles a year on average.  They are usually released 10 years after harvest, though they can age for decades longer.

The Amarone matures over 7-8 years in large Slavonian casks carved with elaborate Catholic imagery.  It is only made in the best vintages, about two to three times a decade.  During lesser vintages, the wines are bottled under the Rosso del Bepi name (Bepi was Giuseppe’s nickname).  His Amarones are powerful yet retain a vibrant freshness and lush fruit character.  The Valpolicellas are intense with structure, finesse and great aging potential.  The 2004 Amarone and the 2005 Valpolicella are the most recent releases of these wines.  Due to the limited production levels, the exacting production methods requiring almost a decade before release, and the high demand for these wines, they are often difficult to find.

We are pleased to offer the following wines, which will arrive Friday June 20th:

Giuseppe Quintarelli Ca del Merlo Veneto IGT 2004 ($99.95) $89 special, 13 bottles available
Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Bianco, Chardonnay, Saorin
Single vineyard

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2004 ($399.95) $349 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is insanely beautiful. A dark, mysterious beauty, the 2004 hits the palate with masses of black fruit, tobacco, smoke, licorice and incense. The 2004 is constantly changing in the glass, as it reveals layer after layer of flavor and pure nuance. Readers will have to be patient with the 2004, but it is spectacular. I tasted the 2004 just after bottling, and will not be surprised if it is even better with more time in bottle. The huge, voluptuous finish bodes well for the future. Readers who can find the 2004 should not hesitate. This is another magical 2004 from Quintarelli.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Primofiore Veneto IGT 2010 ($69.95) $59 special, 2 cases available
Giuseppe Quintarelli Primofiore Veneto IGT 2010 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, 2 magnums available

50% Corvina and Corvinone, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc
Importer note “The “first flower” is the only red wine at Quintarelli that does not employ dried grapes or the ripasso technique. It is also the youngest red wine released by the estate every year.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2005 3L ($599.95) $499 special, 1 double magnum available
Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2005 1.5L ($249.95) $219 special, 3 magnums available
Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2005 ($99.95) $89 special, 12 bottles available

55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, Sangiovese

More Giuseppe Quintarelli Wines, Available Here Now:

Giuseppe Quintarelli ‘Alzero’ Cabernet Veneto IGT 2001 ($449.95) $389 special, 1 bottle available
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot

Giuseppe Quintarelli ‘Alzero’ Cabernet Veneto IGT 2004 ($449.95) $379 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The stunning 2004 Cabernet Alzero is beautiful beyond words. What really stands out is the startling focus and definition of this elegant wine. Cabernet grapes are air-dried for added intensity and heft. This is unlike any other red wine made in Valpolicella. Its seamless elegance is infinite and so is its sheer might. It’s a wine that soothes the senses but that also awakens and challenges them. The 2004 vintage is a brilliant expression with evident pedigree that requires hours of contemplation and respect. It’s engineered to last. Drink 2015-2030.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli ‘Amabile del Cere’ Passito Bianco Veneto IGT 2003 375ML ($279.95) $219 special, 4 half bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points 
“The 2003 Amabile del Cere is a surprising wine. There is plenty of depth and power, but not any sense of heaviness, despite the torrid vintage. Burnt sugar, orange peel, cinnamon, dried figs and spices blossom in the glass as this gorgeous wine shows off its inimitable personality. This is another marvelous showing from Giuseppe Quintarelli. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2003 ($379.95) $299 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points 
“If there is one quality that distinguishes the wines of the late Giuseppe Quintarelli, it is complexity. Unlike any other producer in the Amarone production area, this legendary artisan magically pulls out aromas of dried sage, Indian spice, crushed white pepper and delicate forest berry. On the palate, the wine is bright, crisp and intense, but never heavy or syrupy. Italy lost one of its greatest winemakers when Quintarelli passed away in early 2012.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Primafiore IGT 2009 ($59.95) $49 special, 4 bottles available
50% Corvina and Corvinone, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc
Importer note “The “first flower” is the only red wine at Quintarelli that does not employ dried grapes or the ripasso technique. It is also the youngest red wine released by the estate every year.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2001 375ML ($199.95) $159 special, 6 half bottles available
Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2001 ($399.95) $349 special, 2 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95+ points 
“The 2001 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico is one of the more vintages of the Recioto, although in subsequent tastings the wine has begun to blossom more fully. Silky, layered and exceptionally polished on the palate, the 2001 flows with the essence of dark cherry, plum, licorice, dried flowers, savory herbs, menthol and spices. This is a relatively approachable vintage for the Recioto, with less explosiveness and lower residual sugar than some previous editions, but tons of balance and pure harmony. Simply put, there is nothing like a Quintarelli Recioto.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Ca del Merlo Veneto IGT 2004 ($99.95) $79 special, 1 bottle available
55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, Sangiovese

Other Veneto Wines Available Now

Pieropan Soave 2013 ($17.95) $14 special, 6 bottles available
Producer note
 “This is the freshest, youngest wine in the Pieropan family range.  It is made entirely from fruit grown in their own vineyards situated in the Soave Classico zone and planted only with indigenous grape varieties. 85% Garganega, 15$ Trebbiano di Soave”

Inama Vin Soave Classico 2012 ($17.95) $14 special, 30 bottles available
Producer note
 “Light yellow colour. Elegant nose of sweet field flowers: camomile, elder flower, iris. Mineral on the palate with sweet almond on the finish.  100% Garganega.”

Ca Rugate Rio Albo Valpolicella 2012 ($19.95) $16 special, 3 bottles available

Romano Dal Forno Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2005 ($119.95) $79 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “Dal Forno should really change the name of his 2005 Valpolicella Superiore. It is really an Amarone for all practical intents and purposes, as it is made entirely from fruit that has been dried, albeit for less time than that legally required for Amarone. Firm, sturdy tannins frame blackberries, blueberries, violets and new leather in the 2005 Valpolicella. This is an especially structured, shut-down wine, even within the context of Dal Forno. The wine’s gorgeous inner perfume and sheer depth suggest that all that is required is patience. With time in the glass the tannins soften just enough to get a glimpse of what is in store for those who can wait a few years. Bittersweet chocolate, graphite and tar are layered into the authoritative finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”

Romano Dal Forno Vigna Sere Rosso Passito Veneto IGT 2004 375ML ($189.95) $139 special, 28 half-bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ points
 “The 2004 Vigna Sere is the perfect conclusion to a vintage that will go down as one of Dal Forno’s most magical. Sweet, silky tannins support layers of super-refined, elegant fruit in this magical sweet red. Mocha, espresso, new leather, raspberry jam and spices emerge with time in the glass, but this is really a wine that shows off textural finesse more than anything else. I have tasted this wine many times since it was in barrel and later in bottle. It has never been anything less than spellbinding. It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted. At eight years of age the 2004 remains a an infant. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”

Masi Campolongo di Torbe, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2001($149.95) $99 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“The 2001 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Superiore Campolongo di Torbe reveals notable complexity in its suggestions of leather, spices, plums, prunes and roasted coffee beans. As one might rightfully expect of a wine of this age, the fruit is no longer vibrant, yet the wine possesses terrific length and finessed tannins. This could almost be mistaken for a mature Burgundy.”

Masi Mazzano, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2000 ($179.95) $139 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“Sturdy and intense, with spicy raisin and oak on the nose, enveloped in floral and mineral notes, with a hint of coffee. Full-bodied and very firm, with lots of luscious, spicy dried fruit character driving through the long finish. Classy. Give it time. Best after 2008”

Sergio Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2006 ($119.95) $99 special, 10 bottles available
James Suckling 98 points 
“Incredible nose of wet earth, spices, dark chocolate and blueberries. Stunning. Full body, with superfine tannins and polished texture. Balance and harmony. Better in three or four years.12/12.”

Tedeschi Capitel Monte Olmi, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2006 ($99.95) $89 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“A thread of peat smoke runs through this more traditional-style Amarone, which offers flavors of roasted plum, dried cherry, raisin, cigar box, pekoe tea and pepper, with other ground spices. Tightly packed tannins push through on the long finish. This is one for the cellar. Best from 2014 through 2036. 75 cases imported.”

Tedeschi Corasco Corvina – Raboso – Refosco Appassimento Breve Rosso delle Venezie IGT 2008 ($24.95) $18 special, 14 bottles available

Tedeschi Corasco Corvina – Raboso – Refosco Appassimento Breve Rosso delle Venezie IGT 2009 ($24.95) $18 special, 19 bottles available

Tedeschi ‘La Fabriseria’ Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Veneto 2006 ($49.95) $30.90 special, 2 bottles available

Tommaso Bussola Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2005 500ML ($59.95) $49 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2005 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico is an easy going but superbly elegant wine that reveals expressive aromatics, jammy dark fruit, chocolate, licorice and spices, with an attractive plumminess and outstanding depth. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. ”

Jean-Louis Chave

For over five centuries, the Chave family has been producing Hermitage wines of extraordinary quality and complexity.  Jean-Louis Chave and his father, Gerard, are the current producers crafting wine from the numerous lieu-dits scattered around the hill of Hermitage owned by the family.  The family has 37 acres of vineyards on Hermitage and has holdings in half of the 18 climats.

Their Hermitage Rouge is a blend of cuvees.  The blend varies from year to year depending upon the strength of the individual climats, but the Bessards, from a steep granite slope, always plays a starring role.  In their Hermitage Blanc, the 100 year of monopole Peleat is the core of the blend.  It is a 100% Marsanne vineyard.  The wine is 85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne.  The Saint Joseph rouge is crafted from estate vineyards in the historic center of the appellation, showing excellent structure, balance, and longevity with aromas of black raspberries, black olives, violets and smoke.

All of their wines are crafted from low-yielding vineyards with an average vine age of 60 years.  The grapes are partially destemmed and fermented in wood vats and cement.  The wines see small amounts of new oak and are unfiltered.

Jean-Louis Chave Wines Arriving Late July

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 2011 ($319.95) $249 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “Just bottled, the 2011 Hermitage Blanc also shows the richer side of Hermitage with its full-bodied, voluptuously textured and up-front profile. Honeysuckle, licorice, toast, citrus oil and liquid mineral-like qualities all emerge from this beauty, and it stays beautifully fresh and focused on the palate. A blend of mostly Marsanne, yet with roughly 20% Roussanne, from the l’Ermite, Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche and Peleat lieux-dits, this substantial white should be consumed over the coming 2-4 years, or forgotten for a decade or more. It will have over two decades of longevity.”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 1.5L ($649.95) $499 special, 3 bottles available
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 3L ($1,799.95) $1,399 special, 1 double magnum available
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 ($319.95) $249 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 96-98 points
 “The 2011 Hermitage (also still in barrel), in comparison, is more focused and straight, with a slightly more serious feel to its tannin profile and overall structure. All of the samples (again, tasted in individual components) were beautifully perfumed, with the Les Bessards (which will make up the bulk of the blend) showing surprising density and concentration in a vintage that generally produced more up-front and supple wines. A serious 2011 that will certainly be one of the stars of the vintage, it should be reasonably approachable on release and have an easy two decades of longevity.”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph Rouge 2011 ($79.95) $66 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“Tasted out of bottle and a smoking St.-Joseph that savvy readers need to seek out, the 2011 St.-Joseph (which was just bottled prior to this tasting) offers gorgeous richness and depth, especially in the vintage. Black currants, charcoal, mineral, bouquet garni and ample background meatiness all emerge from the glass, and this medium to full-bodied beauty has brilliant purity of fruit, a great texture and fine tannin that should allow it to evolve gracefully. It’s a fantastic value that should not be missed!”

JL Chave Wine Available Here Now

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2008 1.5L ($449.95) $289 special, 5 magnums available
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “This is suave, with a smoldering tobacco note running from start to finish, while truffle, cocoa, braised fig and warm black currant confiture notes fill in the remaining space. Dense, but very silky along the edges, with remarkable harmony for the vintage.”

Other Hermitage Wines Available Now

M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal 2010 ($319.95) $299 special, 4 bottles available
Robert Parker 99 points
 “From the warmest site of these three vineyards, the 2010 Ermitage Le Meal has sweet creme de cassis, blackberry, bacon fat and a meaty, bloody steak component to its richness. It has good acidity, but is clearly the most voluptuous and succulent of this quartet of monumental wines from one of the greatest appellations for wine in the world, Hermitage. This wine needs a good decade of cellaring and should continue to evolve for 40-50+ years.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 2010 ($399.95) $349 special, 18 bottles available
Robert Parker 100 points 
“Tasting like the concentrated blood from an aged and grilled strip steak, the 2010 Ermitage Le Pavillon boasts a black/purple color along with creme de cassis, camphor, pen ink, white flower and lead pencil shaving characteristics in its massive, full-bodied personality. It almost defies description because of its ethereal concentration and off-the-charts extract levels. This is not for the faint of heart, or those who lack patience, as it will require 10-15 years of bottle age, and, as previously stated, will keep for 50 or more. There are just over 1,000 cases of the 2010 Le Pavillon, another perfect wine in the constellation of profound wines produced by Michel Chapoutier.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite 2005 ($499.95) $349 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 99+ points
 “Lastly, from the very dome of the granite hill of Ermitage is the 2005 Ermitage l’Ermite. An extraordinarily powerful wine that probably needs 10-15 years in the bottle (last year I thought 20 was probably conservative), this is a 100-year wine and probably best appreciated by our descendants rather than anyone currently over the age of 30. Dense purple to the rim, with notes of crushed rock, charcoal, roasted meats, and enormous quantities of blue and black fruits, this wine is almost painfully rich and thick, with mouthsearing levels of tannin and zesty acidity. Monumental! Anticipated maturity: 2020-2080.”

M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne 2007 ($129.95) $99 special, 20 bottles available
Robert Parker 90-93 points 
“The 2007 Ermitage La Sizeranne displays a similar deep ruby/purple-tinged color in addition to sweet aromas of raspberries, black currants, smoke, gun flint, and spice. This full-bodied, well-made wine reveals outstanding richness, purity, and overall balance. Consume it over the next 15-20 years.”

Domaine du Colombier Hermitage Rouge 2009 ($89.95) $59 special, 18 bottles available
Robert Parker 94 points
 “There is not much of it, but the 2009 Hermitage is sensational. Abundant aromas of blackberry fruit, white chocolate, espresso roast and acacia flowers jump from the glass of this opulent, full-bodied, powerful Hermitage. With great intensity as well as silky tannins, this chewy, thick, well-endowed wine should evolve for 20-25+ years.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards 2009 ($399.95) $299 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The most prodigious wine I have yet tasted from the Delas portfolio is the brilliant 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards. Its inky/purple color is followed by abundant notes of acacia flowers, blackberries, black currants, new saddle leather, roasted meats and graphite, amazing concentration, a skyscraper-like texture, supple but significant tannin and low acidity. The result is a perfect example of Syrah from this great vineyard site in Hermitage. It will offer immense pleasure for 40+ years.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards 2010 ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The uber-impressive 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards ranks alongside the perfect 2009. The strikingly intense powdered stone/granite minerality is apparent in this wine of great intensity, prodigious, almost skyscraper-like texture, massive body and high tannins. It is only for true connoisseurs who have a cold cellar as well as the patience to wait a minimum of a decade for it to round into drinking form. Filled with potential, it is one of the single greatest Hermitages I have ever tasted. There is no hint of its 100% new oak aging!”

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette 2009 ($149.95) $99 special, 26 bottles available
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette 2009 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 9 magnums available
Robert Parker 98 points 
“The magnificent 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a black/purple color as well as a wonderful nose of creosote, incense, charcoal, blackberry jam, acacia flowers, white chocolate and a hint of espresso roast. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with low acidity and magnificent density, this 2009 can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 30-50 years.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette 2010 ($119.95) $99 special, 3+ cases available
Robert Parker 96 points 
“One of the finest Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes I have ever tasted is the 2010, which comes close to rivaling their prodigious 2009. A wine of great intensity, it possesses an inky/purple color, plenty of creme de cassis, licorice, lead pencil shavings, camphor, flint and barbecue smoke characteristics, and a thickness and viscosity that eclipse that of the 2009. Full-bodied and powerful with sweet tannins, a striking floral/mineral component in the mid-palate, and a huge, massive finish, this brilliant Hermitage should be consumed between 2018-2035.”

Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Le Meal 2004 ($99.95) $59 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Lush and mouthfilling, with warm fig bread, molten chocolate, Port sauce, currant preserve and espresso notes that are rich and pure through the well-structured finish. Still has some tannins to absorb. Impressive for the vintage. Best from 2009 through 2020.”


Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:We offer flat rate shipping on any size single / single shipment order
-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25For our friends east of the Rockies,
we are offering 3 day select shipping for the same price as ground.Thank you for shopping with us!