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The Wine of Veneto

Wines of VenetoThe Veneto’s most well-known still white wine is Soave, a designation that has been compromised through both viticultural and vinification methods and the enlargement of the zone. While it was originally a blend of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave (both aromatic varieties), changes in DOC regulations permitted the introduction of a more mundane strain of Trebbiano (Toscano) as well as Chardonnay, thereby precipitating the widespread production of a fairly vapid wine. However, Soave bottlings that pair Garganega with Trebbiano di Soave tend to offer a substantive flavor profile. While Soave is not the only white DOC, the others, Lugana and Gambellara, primarily involve the same varietals. The former (which is shared with Lombardia), privileges Trebbiano di Soave, and some bottlings realize a substantive aromatic presence. With respect to the latter, Garganega exercises its dominance, as it represents a minimum of 80% of the blend. The category also includes several varietally labeled wines that are fairly simple in character. Valpolicella is, in many respects, the red counterpart to Soave, as its image has suffered from mass production.

However, unlike Soave, it operates a stylistic hierarchy: Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Superiore and/or Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Recioto della Valpolicella generally comprise the grape trio of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. Valpolicella Classico (Classico denoting a wine made in the inner, superior Valpolicella zone) is the simplest expression of the Valpolicella quartet. At the Superiore level, Valpolicella must achieve higher alcohol content, receive longer aging, and display more body and structure than the simple Valpolicella. To realize these qualities, many Superiore are treated via one of two techniques: “governo alla Toscana” or ripasso. Under the “governo alla Toscana” method, producers blend the finished Valpolicella with a small percentage of Amarone remaining from a previous batch. Others employ the ripasso method, enriching the Valpolicella wine through direct contact with (or passing through) the Amarone’s lees.
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Begali Valpolicella Classico 2017 750ml
Begali Valpolicella Classico 2017 750ml
In Stock
Price: $22.99
Special Price: $15.99

Begali’s delectable Valpolicella Classico is easy to pop and pour and enjoy again and again! Pure red berries cavort on a bed of woodland moss, wildflower petals, spices, river rocks and earth in Begali’s charming ’17 Valpolicella Classico. This wine is about food-friendly immediate drinkability, and it shows an alluring balance between its fine tannins and bright acidity that linger on the savory, mineral-laden finish. A blend of 60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, and the remainder local grape varietals, grapes ferment in stainless steel, and the wine ages for a year in botti before resting in bottle. more info
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
In Stock
Price: $23.99

Balanced, dry, and caressing, the ’16 Brentino leaps from the glass in a profusion of succulent red and blue fruits, warm spices, crushed rocks, cedar wood, and kisses of tobacco and herbs. Rich yet focused, the Brentino wraps its sweet fruits around a sturdy mineral core, while racy acidity propels it to a satisfying, food-friendly finish. A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes for this Bordeaux-style wine grow in volcanic, limestone-rich soils; after fermenting in stainless steel for about a week, the wine ages for a year in a combination of stainless steel and barrique, one-third new. more info
Maculan Dindarello Moscato Passito 2017 375ml
Maculan Dindarello Moscato Passito 2017 375ml
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Price: $23.99

Acacia honey, orange blossoms, grapefruit spritz, and wax frame the succulent stone and crisp orchard fruits in this delectable ’17 Dindarello. An expressive, lively dessert wine, the Dindarello fills the mouth with texture and energy as it explodes with sweet-tart fruits and sneaky minerality--it’s a perfect accompaniment to cream-based or fruit desserts! Deriving from a six-acre vineyard that sports volcanic, mineral-rich soils, the Moscato grapes partially dry for about a month before fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel; the wine rests in bottle for three months before release. more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella 2011 750ml
Giuseppe Quintarelli Valpolicella 2011 750ml
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Price: $109.00

Quintarelli’s 2011 Valpolicella is one of the greatest we’ve seen, which is saying a lot. Spicy red and blue berries mingle with warm earth, cigar wrapper, cedar wood, dried rose petals, and underbrush in a seductive, seamless whole. While this wine has a pleasing tannic heft, its bright skein of acidity surprises with a counterweight, and the wine’s lush, sweet fruit is offset by savory minerality--just gorgeous! Crafted from a mélange of indigenous Veneto grape varietals, grapes dry for two months in the appassimento technique before pressing and fermentation. This wine ages for seven years in Slavonian oak botti before bottling, a protocol unheard of in the region but one the estate maintains to create nuanced and structured, complex Valpolicella with some appropriate maturity. An opportunity to experience Quintarelli magic at an affordable price point, this Valpolicella is a true “baby Amarone.” more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2004 375ml
Giuseppe Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2004 375ml
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Price: $199.00

Arguably Italy's greatest sweet red wine, Quintarelli Recioto is one of IWM's fastest-selling dessert wines; the 2004 saw a benchmark vintage for the Veneto, and this Recioto vintage is a decadent delight that doesn’t sacrifice detail for power. Quintarelli’s '04 Recioto reflects its ideal growing season in its kaleidoscopic layers, velvety texture, and mind-blowing complexity. This wine layers its sweet black cherries and juicy figs with mentholated herbs, Christmas spices, roasted coffee, worn leather, and dark chocolate in a Port-like palate that marries lively acidity with intense dry extract. Velvety tannins provide a sensual backdrop, while savory earthy notes complement the wine’s sweet fruits into its lingering, extended finish. Rarely produced, this bottling appears only three to four times a decade because it requires thirty pounds of grapes (it’s a blend of mostly Corvina and Corvinone, with Rondinella, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, and Sangiovese) and at least ten years of aging to create one standard bottle. This hedonistic drink will recalibrate everything you thought you knew about dessert wine. more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2010 750ml
Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2010 750ml
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Price: $199.00

Quintarelli rarely produces its tempting and delicious Rosso del Bepi, and while under the radar, this Quintarelli bottling is a favorite among wine-lovers in the know. Layers of brambly berries, sour cherries, dried fruits, pipe tobacco, incense, loam and potpourri explode from the glass of this hedonistic wine. Deeply complex and exquisitely balanced, the Rosso del Bepi marries its chewy tannins and its vivid acidity with layers of sweet fruits and savory minerals in this weighty, satisfying wine.  Textured and complex, this wine is a fantastic testament to the kaleidoscopic texture that is the hallmark of Giuseppe Quintarelli, the Veneto’s greatest producer. more info
Dal Forno Romano Veneto Passito Vigna Sere 2004 375ml
Dal Forno Romano Veneto Passito Vigna Sere 2004 375ml
In Stock
Regular Price $249.00

Crafted only in the best of vintages, Dal Forno Veneto Passito Vigna Seré is a labor of love, and in ‘04, the textured silky wine explodes on the palate with a profusion of red and black fruit, espresso, leather, exotic spices and wildflowers. Named Veneto Passito Vigna Seré because this dessert wines differs in protocol from the traditional dessert wine of the Veneto, Recioto, Dal Forno’s sweet wine is as luscious, decadent, age-worthy and mind-bending as you’d expect. A blend of 55% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 20% Croatina, and 10% Oseletta, the grapes for Veneto Passito Vigna Seré dry for six months before pressing--this is twice as long as for Amarone and two months longer than Recioto. After drying, the grapes ferment in stainless steel and then the wine ages for three years in barriques before bottling. It’s a magical wine from a magical vintage, and it explains why Dal Forno is known as the “Grape King” of the Veneto. more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 750ml
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 750ml
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Price: $399.00

2009 saw a ripe yet excellent vintage in the Veneto, and this Quintarelli Amarone reflects its growing year in its full-throttle power, its intensity, its velvety feel, and its unabashed opulence. Layers and layers of red and blue fruits unfurl with Christmas cake, sweet balsamic herbs, new leather, potpourri and touches of loam in this expressive, deep wine. Approachable almost out of the gate, this Quintarelli Amarone nonetheless has the structure to drink over the medium term. This collector's Amarone is a blend of indigenous Corvina along with Rondinella, Molinara, Negrara and traces of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Sangiovese, and Nebbiolo. Following a slightly early harvest, grapes are left to dry out naturally in the appassimento method, which concentrates flavors and sugars to create Amarone’s distinct and hedonistic profile; after pressing the grapes and allowing them to ferment for 45 days, the estate ages the wine in big Slavonian casks for a minimum of seven years. more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 750ml
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 750ml
PRE-ARRIVAL
Price: $399.00

The product of a ripe growing season with just enough water, just enough coolness, and just enough sun, Quintarelli’s ’11 Amarone is a big-bodied, balanced, and seductive beauty. Gobs of brooding black fruits dance with crisp red berries, melted chocolate, fresh earth, mentholated herbs, roasted nuts, espresso and pressed violet petals in this seamless, spellbinding wine. For all its power, this intense and velvety Amarone shows its Quintarelli breeding in its finesse and elegance; sturdy, chewy tannins and electric acidity combine to show this wine’s extreme youth, but time will tame the tannic and acidic edges to reveal a stunning, age-worthy Amarone. This collector's wine is primarily the indigenous Corvina and Corvinone, blended with Rondinella and traces of Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, and Sangiovese. Following a slightly early harvest, grapes are left to dry out naturally, and the estate ages the wine in big Slavonian casks for a minimum of six or seven years. Replete with many layers and flavors, Quintarelli's Amarone demands to be contemplated rather than merely consumed. Quintarelli produced fewer than a thousand cases, with just a handful making it to the States. more info
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 1.5L
Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 2009 1.5L
In Stock
Price: $999.99
Special Price: $749.99

Giuseppe Quintarelli is the Veneto's most important producer, renowned for his near-mythical Amarone, Recioto and the cult wine, Alzero. Although there are other fine Amarone producers, including Quintarelli's protegee, Romano dal Forno, the Quint more info