2004 Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore
The 2004 Valpolicella Classico Superiore is a seriously beautiful wine. A wild, deeply expressive bouquet laced with sweet grilled herbs, tobacco, menthol, licorice and savory herbs meld into layers of expressive dark fruit. The style is classic Quintarelli, with a few rough edges but so much character and pure personality. This is a beautiful vintage for the Valpolicella. Quintarelli gives the Valpolicella a full 6 years in cask, the longest aging I know of for a wine at this level. (AG)
The reputation of the estate of Giuseppe Quintarelli is simply legendary. Their beautifully crafted wines are celebrated worldwide and naturally the Amarone gets most of the prestige. But the Valpolicella Classico Superiore deserves just as much recogntion for delivering an excellent performance at a much more attainable price than the prestigious Amarone wines. This value is even more pronounced in a particularly fine vintage like 2004. Fruit for the Valpolicella Classico Superiore is sourced from the same 11 hectares of estate vineyard as the Amarone wines, with vines planted in limestone and basalt soils and averaging 30 years old. A ripasso wine, the grapes are crushed immediately after harvest and fermented on indigenous yeast. The wine is held until February when it is racked onto the must and lees of the Amarone wines, which begins a second fermentation and the wine gains further extraction from these previously dried grapes. After completion, the wine is aged in large Slavonian oak barrels to age for seven years until bottling.