Quintarelli


The last time I visited this historic estate, Giuseppe Quintarelli was alive and I photographed him in the soft afternoon light with his beloved Negrar landscape at his back. So much has changed here since his passing in 2012. His daughter Fiorenza and her children have refurbished the winery with modern touches and new spaces, added new barrels (with beautiful wood carvings on the front panels dedicated to various family members) and have expanded the estate's commercial reach. In fact, on the day I visited this year in early Spring, the winery was full of visiting wine lovers and tourists. One corner that has not changed at this historic estate is the dark and damp tasting room that Giuseppe Quintarelli used. In fact, everything has been left exactly as he would have liked. The concept of tradition runs deep in these parts and no one among his heirs felt it necessary to change Giuseppe Quintarelli's tasting room. Unfortunately for us wine lovers, the family has opted not to replace the model of tasting glasses used. They continue to use small flute-shaped glasses with a small opening and thick glass. Swirling the wine and properly appraising the bouquet is nearly impossible. The moist air and dimly lit environment of the underground cellars certainly do not make the task easier. I asked grandson Lorenzo why they didn't use more technical stemware when tasting with visitors and journalists. He replied in Italian: "tradizione." I'm all for traditions, but I stand strongly against this one. The glasses used at the winery are terrible and next time I come, I'll be bringing my own thank you very much. The wines tasted below were scored under these difficult conditions at the winery. The only exception is the 2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva. I ended up buying a bottle of that important wine to taste in the comfort of my home office. Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) (May 2017)