Showing 721–732 of 746 results

  • Quintarelli Rosso Ca’ del Merlo 2012


    Review to follow

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  • Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2008


    “Giuseppe Quintarelli’s namesake 2008 Rosso del Bepi (made well before this legendary figure would pass away in 2012) is made in the so-called average vintages when Amarone is not produced. This wine replaces Amarone in those declassified years, meaning that we see Rosso del Bepi made in 2008 and next again in 2010. The estate’s Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, however, is produced in 2009 and 2011. The final decision on which wine will be released is made just a few months before bottling. In very difficult years, neither wine is produced. I have reviewed the 2008 vintage currently on the market now, although the 2010 vintage of this wine was shortly to be released when I visited the estate (but I did not get a chance to taste it). This wine reflects the ideals of a classic blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella (with a smaller percentage of other varieties mixed in for good measure), although you do feel some of the extra heat of the vintage, with some lingering sweetness on the close. The wine registers at 15.5% alcohol, and there are ripe nuances of dark fruit, sweet cherry and jammy blackberry. The wine is immediately open, accessible and beautiful, but like all of Quintarelli’s releases, it would also benefit from additional aging. Drink: 2019-2038. 93+ points

    Tasting wines correctly at the Quintarelli family winery is not as straightforward as it could be, and my belief is that the wines suffer because of it. The process is weighed down by tradition and folklore (for example, the late Giuseppe Quintarelli reportedly didn’t approve of visitors spitting his wines) that is practiced at the winery today as a way of keeping his memory and presence alive. The setup involves dim lighting, small and thick glasses, no spit bucket and tiny pours from half-full bottles. Having experienced this in the past, I brought my own tasting glass with me to the winery this time. I was happily surprised when Lorenzo, Giuseppe’s grandson who was pouring for me, asked if I wanted to taste in a more appropriate stem instead of the heavy glass his grandfather loved. I never had to pull out the Riedel wrapped in cloth in my purse. A spit bucket also appeared by request, and I was able to obtain slightly larger pour sizes with a little extra coxing. I can report that things have improved since my last visit the year before, although they could be better still. In complete honesty, I can say that tasting at Quintarelli is a source of some frustration for me. However, the wines themselves are a delight.

    Today, the Quintarelli family (Giuseppe’s daughter Fiorenza, her husband Giampaolo with sons Francesco and Lorenzo) farm 12 hectares of vines on limestone and basalt soils between the property adjacent to the winery and other plots in the surrounding hills. Most of the vineyard land was purchased by Giuseppe Quintarelli, but the house and winery were acquired by his father. The Quintarellis worked with consulting enologist Roberto Ferrarini (who passed away in 2014), and the stunning 2007 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico (reviewed here) is dedicated to him.

    The winemaking process for Amarone is simple. The best clusters are selected during harvest and left to dry on wooden boxes or mats. Noble rot starts to appear in November and develops carefully until January of the following year. After appassimento, the dehydrated grapes are pressed at the end of January and undergo 20 days of skin contact with alcoholic fermentation on ambient yeasts. The entire fermentation lasts 45 days, and the wine is then racked into Slavonian oak casks for seven years, slowly concluding alcoholic fermentation during aging, thus resulting a dry wine.

    The wines are sold according to market demand, so there are no official release dates or schedules. When stock sells out, the family moves more wine from barrel to bottle accordingly. The Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is only made in the best years, and when it is not produced, the family opts to make Rosso del Bepi instead. In terms of the current and upcoming releases, we have the following wines to look forward to: the 2008 vintage went to Rosso del Bepi, the 2009 vintage is Amarone, the difficult 2010 vintage is Rosso del Bepi and the 2011 vintage is Amarone.

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (244)

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  • Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2014


    “This was a humid and rainy vintage and many producers in the Valpolicella decided not to make their top-shelf Amarone wines, directing their fruit to wines like this instead. The Quintarelli Giuseppe 2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore offers a spicy opener with tarry smoke and cured tobacco. It also shows some tart and brambly fruit, and this ties into what we can expect of the vintage. In truth, the ripeness is present and balanced. It undergoes a partial and brief appassimento. The 2014 is thinner than past vintages have been, but I am very much enjoying this more streamlined and elegant approach. Drink: 2022-2032. 93+ points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (12/21)

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  • Remelluri Granja Remelluri Rioja Gran Reserva 2013


    “2013 could very well be the most challenging vintage of recent times, a year with 900 liters of rain, which created a lot of problems, including botrytis during the harvest. Produced selected Tempranillo and Garnacha, thea2013 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva has lower alcohol, 13.5%, and aged in barrel for 27 to 29 months. Compared with the 2014, you see less-perfect ripeness in the tannins, and it’s a little lighter, sharper and a little more austere. I think this is a triumph over the very adverse conditions of the year. 8,000 bottles were filled in May 2016, when they normally produce around 20,000 bottles. Drink: 2020-2026. 94 points

    Remelluri is Telmo Rodríguez’s family property between the villages of Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/20)

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  • Remelluri Rioja Blanco 2019


    The white 2019 Blanco comes from a year that was marked by hail and frost in April and May that resulted in a small crop that ripened early in a warm growing season. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in used barriques, foudres and 1,200-liter concrete eggs. The wine is powerful at 14.4% alcohol but has good freshness showcased by a pH of 3.21. This is a very serious and complex white, with spice and smoke, balanced and harmonious, combining power with elegance. It’s a little more fluid, with more finesse and delicacy, despite the fact that they got low yields and the wine had natural concentration. 8,766 bottles and 103 magnums were filled in May 2021. Drink: 2022-2032. 94+ points

    There will be some changes in the Lindes lineup, for which they plan to even have a completely independent winery. The idea is to have up to six village wines from Lindes in 2021.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (06/22)

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  • Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah 2019


    “A wine of weight and substance, the 2019 Petite Syrah Lytton Estate is fabulous. Best of all, readers won’t have to contend with huge Petite tannins, as those have been handled admirably. Black cherry, plum, exotic spice, leather, tobacco and incense infuse the 2019 with tons of complexity. There’s plenty of supporting structure, but the tannins are pretty much buried. What a wine. Drinking window: 2024-2039. 95 points

    Readers will find a number of terrific wines among these new releases from Ridge. Over the last few years Ridge has expanded their offerings, which means the highlights aren’t always the usual suspects. I have kept drinking windows compact for the 2020s out of an abundance of caution. Other than that, there’s not much left to say other than there’s plenty to like.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/22)

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  • Rossignol-Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018


    “The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes comes from vines averaging 60 years of age, within nine parcels that are representative of the appellation. It has a lovely bouquet of undergrowth scents percolating through red berry fruit that is slightly darker than the Bourgogne Rouge, the 50% whole cluster nicely integrated. The lightly spiced palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine bead of acidity and an elegant finish that exerts gentle grip. Give it two or three years in bottle. Drinking window: 2021-2032. 89-91 points

    Rossignol-Trapet is a domaine that is starting to step up a few gears in recent years. Their wines have performed impressively during the annual Burgfest blind tastings, a perfect litmus test to see who’s really doing the business inside the bottle. I met with brothers Nicolas and David Rossignol who gave me the lowdown on the growing season. “We started the harvest on 4 September until 12 September, commencing in Beaune and then through the Gevrey appellation, finishing with the Latricières-Chambertin. We used around 40-50% whole bunch except for the Bourgogne Rouge, the stems helping to add freshness and longevity. The wines underwent a two week cuvaison, the colour coming easily. There were some cuvées that took a while to finish their alcoholic fermentation, though they all eventually ended with zero sugar. The premier crus are all raised in around 25% new oak, the village crus will be bottled in February, the premier crus in March and the grand crus in April. I think it is a good idea to have a good length of élevage.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (01/20)

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  • San Lorenzo Il San Lorenzo Bianco 2009


    Review to follow

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  • Suenen Extra Brut C+C Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru N.V.


    “From Suenen’s holdings Cramant and Chouilly, where the soils are deeper than in Oiry, the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru C + C is based on the 2016 vintage and was disgorged in June 2019 with three grams per liters dosage. Unwinding in the glass with scents of sweet pastry, yellow apples, spices, white flowers and almonds, it’s medium-bodied, precise and racy, with tangy acids and an attractively fleshy core of fruit, concluding with a saline finish. Drink: 2020-2035. 93 points

    Abandoning a career as a semi-professional basketball player, Aurélien Suenen returned to his family estate in 2008. Beginning with a range of non-vintage bottles, he began producing lieu-dit bottlings from his most characterful, optimally sited parcels with the 2013 vintage. Certified organic from 2020 onwards, his vins clairs are vinified in tanks, concrete eggs and used barrels from Damy, complemented by some purchased wood from Stockinger. Tirage takes place after nine to 10 months on the lees, and nothing is released onto the market until it has seen just as long as that on cork after disgorgement. Suenen’s progress has been thrilling to watch—I’ve been following him since my student days—and the wines reviewed here are the finest I’ve seen to date from this immensely promising talent. Readers will find much to admire.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (03/21)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro 2019


    “This is a stunning wine and one of the best in this report covering the icons of Tuscany. The 2019 Tenuta di Trinoro is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. Fruit is sourced from the very best parcels, and the blending formula changes according to vintage and the style desired by vintner Andrea Franchetti. These vineyard parcels vary in altitude, ranging from 400 to 600 meters above sea level, and the soils are quite varied with pockets of clay, sand and rock. The Trinoro is profoundly deep and pure with a solid core of black fruit that is framed by an elegant contour of spice, tobacco, smoke and crushed stone. To the palate, the wine is long and the finish can be counted in minutes, but the entire experience is beautifully streamlined and velvety. This vintage saw an important freeze event on the 7th of May, and 9,000 fire candles were lit in the lower vineyard blocks to fight off frost damage. Drink: 2023-2048. 100 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi 2019


    “Because of frost and a cold spring, some of the vineyard parcels at this estate saw late harvest dates. But the Merlot was the first to come off the vines by the 14th of September. The Tenuta di Trinoro 2019 Palazzi is a pure expression of Merlot with incoming fruit from the Palazzi vineyard that is characterized by dense clay soils. The wine’s intensity is what stands out most, and that power is fueled by lovely nuances of black fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and baker’s chocolate. The alcohol content weighs in at 15.5%. Palazzi excels in terms of mouthfeel. The smooth richness and deep softness achieved here is only possible with this grape. Furthermore, it seems only possible in this spectacular, sun-drenched corner of undiscovered Tuscany known as Sarteano. Drink: 2022-2045. 96 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta San Leonardo 2016


    “Another year in bottle has added unexpected depths and dimension to the 2016 San Leonardo. lt wafts up with an alluring bouquet of smoky black currant and plum skins, complicated by savory herbs, hints of white pepper and fresh tobacco. Its hard chiseled edges have formed into smooth contours now, velvety yet youthfully dense, washing mineral encased dark red and black berries across a core of brisk acidity as a combination of saline-minerals and grippy tannins add tension toward the close. This finishes incredibly long yet also structured, begging for time in the cellar, as hints of licorice and earth tones grumble under an air of inner violet florals. The potential within the 2016 San Leonardo is off the charts, yet it will require a good amount of time to come fully into focus. Bury your bottles deep. Drinking window: 2026-2040. 96 points

    It’s hard to understand just how unique the wines of San Leonardo are, until you see just how unique their location is. Traveling north through Trentino, up from Lake Garda, the valley narrows, with vines that seem to span out directly from the autostrada on both sides and run uphill until they meet the forests at the top. After exiting the main road, and after a few very sharp turns, you arrive at the gates of San Leonardo. Over 1000 years ago, the main building was a monastery, yet for the last three centuries it’s been the home of the Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga family. The detailed history of the estate was explained in my piece, “The Grand Vin of the North: San Leonardo.” However, to experience the sight of it is something totally different. The oldest vines of the estate, trained using the pergola system, grow in deep sandy soils on the hills surrounding the winery, soils that were deposited by the Adige River over millennia. As you move further uphill (or shall I say up the mountain), you find stony soils of carbonate rock and limestone, with current plantings using the Guyot training system. This is where Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga, the current managing generation, believes that the future of San Leonardo exists, especially due to the onset of global warming. The winery continues to plant at higher elevations, with four new hectares in place, and another three-hectare vineyard being constructed. At this time, the property consists of a total of 30 hectares, all of which are farmed using organic principles. On the topic of change, another progression here is the slow introduction of tonneaux, as opposed to barrique in the aging of San Leonardo’s top reds. However, even the barrique aging consists of a maximum of 20% new wood. It’s going to be very interesting to watch this property progress over the coming years. They’ve already established themselves as one of the top producers of northern Italian Bordeaux blends. San Leonardo also delivers a ridiculous amount of value through their second wine, the Terre di San Leonardo, and their old-vine, varietal Carménère, while very limited, just keeps getting better and better. Frankly speaking, it’s great to witness such a long-lived traditional estate having such an open-minded and progressive view.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/22)

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