When I told a friend that I was going to visit Quintarelli for the first time, she showed me a video she took of Francesco, Giuseppe’s grandson, slowly and meticulously rinsing a series of glasses with wine in a dim light, surrounded by religious silence. She also gave me a piece of advice: “Don’t be impatient to try the wines, and enjoy every moment of the visit from the beginning, including this ritual. After the tasting, everything will make sense.” I followed her suggestion, and discovered the sum of details that create a legend. At Quintarelli, they take their time with respect and tireless work. Patience is the essence of their wines, and time is needed to taste them, as they all call upon meditation. Our annual shipment of Quintarelli has just arrived, and though you’ll need to wait for the September Newsletter to purchase the Ca’ del Merlo and Alzero, here are two selections you can get your hands on right now. The 2018 Primofiore shows perfect balance between the fresher notes of the Cabernets and the juicier and denser nuances of the local grapes, Corvina and Corvinone. A youthful outlier in the bunch, it is the youngest Quintarelli wine to be released each year. Of course, the signature touch of the estate is their patience in waiting for the right moment to release new vintages—the complex and graceful 2013 Valpolicella is a prime example. Time may stand still at Quintarelli, but the wines you’ll discover in your glass are dynamic and full of life, with tales to tell of a region, its people, and a singular man whose passion for tradizione gave us the opportunity to import wines like no other.
This red is the exception to the rule at Quintarelli. It is aged for only two to three years—as opposed to seven—and only the Cabernet is partially dried. The Corvina and Corvinone are pressed directly after harvest. The resulting Primofiore, which translates to “first flower” because it is the youngest red-wine release every year, is the freshest rosso of the bunch.
The Quintarelli family is known for combining centuries-old winemaking traditions with an innovative mindset, and their Valpolicella represents the epitome of this practice. Already eight years old, this thoroughbred shows the nuances of artful blending, as well as a deft mastery of the appassimento and ripasso techniques that are Quintarelli’s stylistic trademarks. Generously aromatic, layered with flavor; long, rich, and satisfying.
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