2003 Giuseppe Quintarelli, Valpolicella Classico Superiore, red Veneto Italy.
Wildly expensive, funky and crazy good are what my first draft of notes said of this wonderfully unique wine from the famed house of Quintarelli. The late great Giuseppe Quintarelli was a revolutionary winemaker and thinker, he changed what meant and was to be an Amarone and Valpolicella, crafting amazingly complex wines and defining what top wines could and should be, also his wines can be remarkably long lived. His passing was certainly felt, especially in his beloved region where he schooled many aspiring winemaker, including Romano Dal Forno, but his legacy lives on and these new releases prove the family is continuing his pursuit of excellence and will carry on with his inspiration and passion. The 2003 Valpolicella Classico Superiore is an edgy red, slightly affected by volatile acidity and classic weirdness, but once settled in the glass everything comes together and things get interesting and the texture is amazing in this Corvina based Valpolicella, though it has other local varietals, plus some Cabernet(s) in the mix here as well. Dusty chocolate, golden raisin, poached plum, reduced cherry and minty herbs all combine to seduce the palate along with strawberry, blonde tobacco, fig paste, truffle and cedar. So much is going on your head spins, but if you manage to calm yourself, you’ll just smile with happy pleasure and marvel at this treasure. There is a touch of candied citrus rind and saline that add mouthwatering savory tang reminding you to enjoy this Valpolicella with food, maybe lamb or cheese at least. Be sure to let this wine air out a bit and hold on for the wild ride.
($85 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive
Being Released in May 2013 in the USA by Kermit Lynch
Avail Pre Sale at www.sfwtc.com