Varietal: Cabernet Franc Region: Veneto Country: Italy
ABOUT GIUSEPPE QUINTARELLI:
The estate of Giuseppe Quintarelli, arguably the Veneto’s most important producer, produces Amarone, Recioto and Alzero. Quintarelli Amarone is clearly the benchmark for Amarone wines. While Giuseppe Quintarelli died in January 2012 at the age of 84, and his wife, Franca, passed a year later, his estate continues on in the hands of his children, who learned winemaking from the man known as “The Master of the Veneto.” A perfectionist who practiced rigorous grape selection, Quintarelli released his wines to market only when he deemed them ready - often times many years after his fellow Veneto producers did so.
Quintarelli wines are always small production, highly sought after, and insanely amazing in quality. Total production is 4,000 cases a year. Quintarelli wines are difficult to obtain and while all of his wines are sought after with fervent ardor, perhaps none is chased so passionately as Alzero, Quintarelli’s hedonistic contribution to the cult genre. Alzero is made in an Amarone style but more dry with less residual sugar and is often compared to a “Cheval Blanc on steroids”. Production of the Alzera is minuscule with less than 300 cases made each year - making allocations severely limited.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - 92 points
"Quintarelli's Alzero is one of Italy's most unique, compelling wines, particularly in top vintages, in which it can be utterly mind-blowing. Alzero is mostly Cabernet Franc, with a dollop of Merlot, made Amarone-style. The 1998 reveals compelling layers of ripe dark fruit, sweet herbs, chocolate and spices that gradually unfurl in the glass. The wine possesses gorgeous length and balance, but not the sheer opulence of the profound 1997. Aged in cask, this traditionally made, hand-crafted wine shows more volatile acidity than many wines these days, yet it also offers a totally unique drinking experience. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2028. It isn't easy to keep up with Giuseppe Quintarelli, as this legendary producer releases his wines when he feels they are ready, not a moment sooner. As is often the case, these are some of the most mind-blowing wines being made anywhere, but sadly, prices are equally dizzying. Still, for readers who can afford them, these are reference-point wines." (October 2008)