L’Arco Rubeo 2018


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“The 2018 Rubeo is a savory beast, with a burst of smoke and crushed rocks giving way to white pepper-tinged black cherries and wild herbs. It sweeps across the palate with silky textures and polished wild berry fruits, propelled by zesty acidity as salty mineral tones saturate toward the close. It finishes saline and youthfully tannic yet still quite fresh, leaving rosy inner florals and a chalky sensation that lingers on and on. The 2018 is gorgeous yet demands cellaring to come fully into balance. Drinking window: 2026-2036. 94 points

The tasting at L’Arco included both new releases and a very rare look back into library vintages of Rubeo, an appassimento-driven blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Corvina, 15% Rondinella and 15% Molinara. In last year’s article, I explained Luca Fedrigo’s very close ties to Quintarelli and how he has chosen to uphold those teachings to the letter. The wines possess that same magic and soulfulness that make Quintarelli an icon to this day. As such, they also require similar attention. For instance, Fedrigo clarified that the wines are best opened no less than eight hours prior to tasting, if not the night before. This visit was particularly interesting, as I recalled the first time I tasted these wines, including the 2003, 2004 and 2006 vintages, which we revisited. I still have a 2003 L’Arco Amarone in my cellar, waiting for a special occasion. The new releases show the same energy, verve and depth of fruit that I’ve come to know from these wines. However, Fedrigo decided not to bottle his 2018 Amarone in response to the year’s conditions, a choice I wish more producers had made. That said, both the Rubeo and Pario from the vintage are both terrific, just more immediate. As for 2019, my interests are truly piqued after tasting the Pario, a blend of half fresh and half appassimento Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. It’s a serious wine that will require patience.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (02/24)