About this Blog

The blog focuses on the essence of wine and food, not how many points or stars it receives. The opinions are mine and should be taken only as that, an opinion not gospel.

Like many collectors, initially I was very much influenced by wine ratings. I purchased wines based on points, even if I had never tasted the wine. And it was much worse than that. I would drink a wine with a high rating, not like it, yet since it was highly rated I’d rationalize that I did not yet appreciate the wine, or that my palate was not sophisticated enough to understand the wine. How’s that for lunacy? As a result my cellar grew in all directions while my palate narrowed. By the time I realized the style of wine that I enjoyed, my cellar abounded with wines whose styles I did not enjoy. All of these wines were very highly rated, just not my cup of tea, or glass of wine to be more accurate. Fortunately I was able to sell many of these wines to those who either enjoyed them or wanted highly rated wines. Don’t misunderstand, I am not against wines with high ratings, in fact I own many. It is just that I now purchase wines based on the producer, the style and my palate, not the rating. Nor do I shun reading reviews. I very much respect Antonio Galloni, Alan Meadows, Eric Asimov and John Gilman and read their reviews routinely. I pay attention to what they write, not the points they award.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giuseppe Quintarelli 1927 - 2012

Giuseppe Quintarelli passed away on Sunday at the age of 84, losing his long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The wine world has lost its biggest giant. There is a reason why the photo I chose for my blog is with Giuseppe Quintarelli; he was my hero. His wines are simply the best I have ever tasted. They defy description. For me they are the ultimate expression of a master wine maker taking the fruit that God has given him and giving it full expression. If I were to be exiled to a remote island and could take only one producers’ wines with me it would be Quintarelli’s.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Quintarelli estate and meeting the man himself in March of 2007 along with three wine loving friends, Gino, Tony & George. It remains one of my fondest wine memories. I was in awe of the humble and gentle nature of the man and the simplicity of his estate. He set his standards very high and rigidly adhered to them and as a result all of the wines he put his name on provide an incredible wine tasting experience. I only hope that his family continues on with his philosophy and continues to live up to the high standards he set.

At our visit in 2007 we were able to purchase 4 bottles of wine from his cellar. He sold us a bottle each of 1986 Amarone, 1990 Amarone Riserva, 1988 Amarone Riserva and a 1983 Ricioto della Valpolicella Gran Riserva. We took the wines to Ristorante Greppia in Verona, Italy where they gladly allowed us to drink them with their excellent food. Each Amarone was an amazing experience. Incredible purity, balance, complexity and a lengthy finish across the board. And as for the Ricioto, I can easily say it was the greatest bottle of dessert wine I have ever tasted and probably will ever taste. Words cannot describe it, so I will not even try.

While I am a big fan of Quintarelli, there are others who knew him well and spent time with him and are much more qualified than I to speak about him and his legacy. Here are some links to their comments and remembrances. Click on the links to read what they have to say, it is well worth the time.

Polish Wine Guide
Do Bianchi
Palate Press

If you have any of his wines in your cellar, open a bottle and toast life and his legacy. If not, please go out and buy one and discover what you have been missing.

Giuseppe you will be missed but long remembered. Rest in peace.


1 comment: