Brett happens

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Zýmè vs. Quintarelli

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Before founding Zýmè in 1999, winemaker Celestino Gaspari worked with Giuseppe Quintarelli for many years, eventually becoming his son-in-law.

Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2011, Zýmè ($39.50, 11587151)
Typically 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta from vines rooted in limestone and clay. The grapes are manually harvested and immediately pressed. Initial alcoholic fermentation takes place in non-temperature-controlled vats. In January, the wine is racked onto the lees of the estate’s Amarone (the process is called ripasso in Italian). A second alcoholic fermentation lasting about two weeks then takes place. The fermented wine is racked into large Slavonian oak barrels and matured for around three years followed by another six months in the bottle. Residual sugar: 6 g/l. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: L’Enoteca.
Complex nose of red fruit (especially cherry), smoky minerals, dried mint, “praline,” “candied orange,” sandalwood and cocoa. Medium-bodied but heady and thewy: a balanced mouthful of rich fruit, fluent acidity and tannins that tasters described as “wiry” and “fibrous.” Darker undercurrents add depth, while the initially astringent weave unravels beguilingly on the long, spicy finish. Delicious. (Buy again? Yes.)

Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2007, Giuseppe Quintarelli ($90.25, 12332782)
Typically 55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina and Sangiovese from uncertified but organically farmed vines averaging 30 years old and rooted in limestone and basalt. The grapes are manually harvested and immediately pressed. After three to four days’ maceration, primary alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts takes place. In February, the wine is racked onto the lees from the estate’s Amarone. A second alcoholic fermentation then takes place. When fermentation is complete, the wine is racked into large Slavonian oak barrels and matured for seven years. 15% ABV. Quebec agent: L’Enoteca.
Inexhaustible bouquet of morello cherry, plum, chocolate-covered raisins and espresso beans, “piri piri chicken,” smoke from burning leaves, spices and more. So complex and complete: broad, deep and long. The beautiful fruit – sweet but not too – is structured by fine, velvety tannins and fresh acidity, underscored by minerals and earth, heightened by spice and kirsch (amazingly, the alcohol is otherwise unapparent). The finish is an endless caress. A great vintage of this wine that, as so often, is in a class by itself. (Buy again? For a special occasion and during a 10% off sale, yes.)

MWG February 11th tasting: flight 6 of 6

Written by carswell

March 9, 2016 at 14:31

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