quintarelli giuseppe alzero cabernet 11
Alzero is one of the hardest wines to find from Quintarelli and like his Amarones, can be counted among the greatest wines of Italy. The wine is made in almost the same way as his Amarones in that this is 100% appassimento. The grapes are harvested and then left to dry until mid-December, then crushed and fermented in the usual way. The wine spends the same amount of time in barrel as the Amarones, but part of that time is spent in French oak, then transferred to large Slavonian oak casks.
Like all the other wines from Quintarelli, there is always an elegance to this wine (yes, 16.5% can still be elegant). No doubt, it is pure hedonism, almost the most indulgent wine you could imagine, but always so masterfully put together that it never feels heavy or overpowering. In fact, it's quite the reverse. The aromatics continue the theme of the Amarone with notes of camphor, woodlands, liqueur cherries, perhaps with the tobacco more to the fore, then supported with spicy, leafy notes. This is an utterly profound wine that very few wine lovers will ever get to taste.
"The 2011 Alzero Cabernet is a bit backward today, displaying mocha-infused black and red currants offset by hints of sour citrus and animal musk, plus a dusty floral and incense component that is not quite ready to come into the foreground. It's velvety in feel yet medium in body, showing tart wild berries and exotic inner spices, all framed by a core of vibrant acidity. For all of its primary intensity, the 2011 maintains balance, leaving a glycerol-like coating of tart cherry and blackberry under an air of tobacco and sweet herbs. There's a lot of immediate pleasure to be found within the 2011, but it should also excel over medium-term cellaring. With grapes dried through appassimento, the Alzero is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot."
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