Product information

Giuseppe Quintarelli ‘Ca del Merlo’ 2016

Red Blend


$264ea in any 3+
$254ea in any 6+
Alc: 15%
Closure: Cork


55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo, Croatina, Sangiovese

In stock

Check out all of the wines by Giuseppe Quintarelli

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Venerated as the Maestro del Veneto, the late Giuseppe Quintarelli and his wines hold near-mythical status in the world of wine. After tasting them for myself, I can see why. There’s an interplay between boldness and finesse in these wines that continues to evolve in the glass. And while these are clearly serious, layered wines, they are also pure joy to drink.

This balance is particularly evident in the Ca del Merlo Rosso and Bianco Secco; both wines playfully brings together the traditions of Valpolicella with international influence in the vineyard, the winemaking and the flavour. They’re wonderful examples of Giuseppe Quintarelli’s uncompromising approach to winegrowing, which is reflected in the amount of time, effort, patience, and care that go into the making of a bottle of Quintarelli. It truly is so much more than wine.

About Guiseppe Quintarelli

Located in the Valpolicella zone in north-eastern Italy, the estate produces wines revered by oenophiles around the world. It was established in 1924 but it was Giuseppe Quintarelli, in charge from the mid-1950s until his death in 2012, who drove its success.

Guiseppe Quintarelli, affectionately known as ‘Bepi’, established the legendary estate over the course of his amazing sixty-year career. He produced wines that inspired passions far beyond any other producer’s in the Veneto, and like few others in Italy. In an era that emphasized mass production over attention to detail, Quintarelli made wines without compromise, with labour-intensive methods and painstaking attention in the vineyard.

While traditional practice served as the foundations of Quintarelli’s winegrowing practice, it does not follow that Giuseppe is afraid of innovation. As well as the excellent Amarone, he produces an excellent dry white wine called Bianco Secco and a flamboyant, but powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Corvina labelled Primo Fiore and sought after as any cult Cabernet.

Today Giuseppe’s daughter Fiorenza, his son-in-law Giampaolo, and his grandsons Francesco and Lorenzo are all keeping a close watch over the family’s legacy.

Hillside vineyards overlooking Negrar. Photo courtesy of Andrew Jeffords

In the Vineyard

The winery sits in the hills above the town of Negrar, which is located in the heart of the Valpolicella zone in Veneto. The estate comprises 10 hectares of vineyards with three hectares on the hill called Monte Ca’ Paletta next to the winery. They use the pergola Veronese system for the local varieties – Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone – and Guyot for the international varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot). Sustainable viticulture is at the core what they do.

The Quintarelli approach to winemaking means sacrificing quantity for quality; yields are deliberately held extremely low by rigorous pruning and green harvesting.

Guyot training on the left; traditional Pergola training on the right. Photo courtesy of Vincarta.

In the Winery

During harvest, multiple passages through the vineyards produce a myriad of wines, many produced using the appassimento technique whereby the grapes are dried on rush mats before being pressed and made into wine. During the time that this occurs, the grapes will lose up to 50% of their weight, resulting in intensely concentrated flavours and a very high sugar content, which in turn translates into 15% alcohol levels or even higher.

Fruit for the Ca’ Merlo Rosso comes from a single vineyard comprised of local varieties Corvina and Coraviaone (55%), Rondinella (30%) and a mix of Italian and international grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Croatine and Sangiovese. Half the grapes are freshly pressed and the other half dried on mats for 2 months. Check out the video below to see the grapes laid out and drying.

Following 3-4 days of maceration, the wine is fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel. It is then racked once and left to settle until February, when it is racked again with an addition of Amarone lees, initiating a secondary alcoholic fermentation. This process is known as ripasso and contributes to the weight, depth and flavour present in the wine. In a final nod to the traditions of the region, the wine is matured in large Slavonian oak barrels for seven years before bottling.

The 2015 Vintage Giuseppe Quintarelli?

Quintarelli is released later than most Amarone, Valpolicella et al. Reviews of their wines aren’t available.

Reviews from all the good makers for the vintage have been excellent.

“Vintage 2015 is a perfect vintage with a very good spring, good summer and very importantly, a little rain during June and July, with temperatures that were not too high. Cool nights helped retain natural acidity. IIt was a perfect harvest during September and October.

Most producers compared the vintage to 2011, with similar conditions of moderate rain and warm temperatures. There is also some similarity with the Amarones from 2013, although the examples from 2015 are not as intense, but have overall better acidity and elegance.

The 2015 ‘s are outstanding wines, and while it is still early, this may go down as one of the finest vintages for Amarone in the last 10-15 years……”

Where in the World are Giuseppe Quintarelli?

Giuseppe Quintarelli’s estate is located in the Negar Valley in Valpolicella zone. This area is part of the greater Veneto region in the north-east of Italy.

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Azienda Agricola Quintarelli Giuseppe di Quintarelli Fiorenza, Via Cerè, Negrar, VR, Italy