May 19, 2015
A Note from Sergio
Amarone is a tough wine to make well. Lots of things can go awry when a producer makes an Amarone. Because Amarone is a passito wine, meaning that it's crafted from partially dried grapes, there's a big time gap between when those grapes are harvested and when they're pressed. During that time, those grapes can rot or grow harmful molds. Amarone's process of raisining, or drying, grapes concentrates sugar; more sugar means more alcohol; and that means that an Amarone can often turn out aggressive and volatile, like a belligerent drunk. Plus, Amarone often has a problem balancing its various sides--its alcohol, its sharp tannins and its acidity. The outcome has historically been somewhat spotty. When an Amarone was good, it was very, very good, but when it was bad, well, you know.
Things have changed over time to improve Amarone--climate change, for one thing, has made the ripening and the drying somewhat easier. And more producers have learned how to finesse the process to make wines that are balanced, harmonious and whole. But there was always one producer who stood out, who set the standard for Amarone, and who mentored other winemakers, thereby setting up the future for great wine. That winemaker was Giuseppe Quintarelli. Today, I'm very pleased to present a new release from Quintarelli, the estate's 2006 Amarone. Beppe passed away in 2012, but he taught his family well, and this wine is a testament to his skills as winemaker and as teacher--as well as his passion for his Veneto land. As usual, this allocation is very limited; don't hesitate!
Along with this great Veneto wine, I'm pleased to present a rosato from near my childhood home, the Amalfi Coast in Campania. Raffaele Palma's Salicerchi is anything but a wan, sweet, limp drink. This is a deeply colored, vibrant and steely rosé; it's daring, cerebral and completely delicious. Finally, I'm very proud to offer ten Burgundies from Joseph Drouhin's 2009 vintage. These are all gorgeous, well-made wines from a vintage that's both fleshy and structured, and you Burgheads want to jump on this offer.
Today's Featured Sections Include:
1. Spotlight on Excellence: The Release of the 2006 Quintarelli Amarone
2. Only At IWM:
Raffaele Palma's Serious Rosato, an IWM Exclusive
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Opulent, Dense Joseph Drouhin Burgundies
4. Our Experts Suggest:
Celebrating Sangiovese with Two Iconic Wines
5. Wine Events: May/June Wine Tastings