Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva DOP Classico 2011 by Quintarelli
Quintarelli don’t often release this wine. The riserva is, well, reserved, exclusively to be released in years good enough by Quintarelli’s forbiddingly exacting standards. 2011 was such a year – indeed, we agree – when everything went virtually as well as could be dreamed of, with the ideal rainfall, the long growing season, the diurnal temperature variations and a wonderful late harvest. A first-class wine from a legendary producer.
Winemaking: incredibly careful grape selection, and if insufficient bunches qualify the wine doesn’t get made. The grapes in the fruttaio are encouraged to develop noble botrytis as well as drying out, to further encourage sugar concentration. The grapes are then crushed, fermented for a rather long 45 days, then placed into medium-small Slavonian oak barrels to age for an astonishing ten years.
Assemblage: corvina 55%, rondinella 25%, nebbiolo, sangiovese and croatina 15%.
Colour: deep purple, true opacity.
Aroma: incredibly complex, dense, powerful fruit (cherries, plums, prunes), as well as an anise note, white pepper, powerful cigars and cinnamon.
Palate: massive yet soft, hot yet easy-going, thick and dense yet with enormous delicacy and subtlety, with an astonishingly long finish.
Ageability: This is a new-born wine, practically – decades and decades are left for it to develop depths of complexity that will reward the discerning drinker enormously.
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