2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore – Giuseppe Quintarelli
Country: Italy
Region: Valpolicella | Veneto
Grape: Valpolicella
Score: 90-94
Price: 75-125 euro

2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore – Giuseppe Quintarelli.

Placed on the picturesque slopes near Negrar, in the heart of the Valpolicella region, lies the renowned Quintarelli Winery. Established in 1924, this family-run estate has become a benchmark for exceptional wines, revered not only within Italy but across the globe. Under the meticulous stewardship of Giuseppe Quintarelli, who took the reins in the 1950s, the winery has maintained an unwavering commitment to traditional winemaking methods, producing some of the most exquisite and complex wines in Italy.

About the Winery 

Giuseppe Quintarelli, affectionately known as ‘Bepi,’ dedicated his life to crafting wines with unparalleled patience and precision. His approach was uncompromising, focusing on quality over quantity, a philosophy that is evident in every bottle bearing the Quintarelli name. The winery’s artisanal labels, with their distinctive handwritten prints, symbolize the meticulous care and dedication invested in each vintage.

The passing of Giuseppe in 2012 marked the end of an era, but his legacy continues to thrive under the vigilant eyes of his daughter Fiorenza, son-in-law Giampaolo, and grandsons Francesco and Lorenzo. Together, they uphold the traditions and values instilled by Giuseppe, ensuring that the wines of Quintarelli remain true to their heritage while embracing the future.

A hallmark of Quintarelli’s winemaking process is the appassimento technique, where grapes are dried on wicker mats before being pressed and fermented. This method enhances the concentration and complexity of the wines, producing flavors that are both rich and refined. The winery’s diverse portfolio showcases the versatility and depth achievable through this ancient practice.

Today, the Quintarelli family continues to honor Giuseppe’s vision, maintaining the authenticity and artisanal spirit that has made their wines legendary. With an unwavering dedication to quality, the winery remains a beacon of excellence in Valpolicella, producing wines that are not only a tribute to their past but also a promise for the future. Each bottle from Quintarelli is a masterpiece, reflecting a legacy of passion, tradition, and unparalleled craftsmanship.

About the Winemaking

Quintarelli’s Valpolicella Classico Superiore stands apart from typical Valpolicella wines through its unique winemaking process. While many Valpolicella wines utilize the ripasso method, Quintarelli opts for a distinctive approach. Rather than using the leftover grape skins from Amarone production, they incorporate a combination of fresh and dried grapes. This technique, rooted in the appassimento tradition, involves drying half of the grapes for two months before pressing, which imparts an extraordinary depth and complexity to the wine.

The precise composition of the Valpolicella Classico Superiore remains a closely guarded secret, adding to its mystique. However, it is known that the primary grapes are Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella, traditional varieties of the Valpolicella region. This blend is further enriched with small quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Croatina, and Sangiovese, and sometimes even includes white grape varieties. This diverse array of grapes contributes to the wine’s rich and multifaceted character.

The winemaking process begins with the pressing of half the grapes immediately after harvest, while the other half undergoes drying. After several days of maceration, primary fermentation kicks off with native yeasts. The magic truly begins in early spring when the dried grapes are blended with the freshly fermented wine, initiating a second fermentation on the remaining skins of the Amarone wines. This unique process results in a wine that combines the freshness of Valpolicella with the depth and richness of Amarone.

The Valpolicella Classico Superiore then embarks on a prolonged aging journey in large Slovenian oak barrels, known as ‘botti,’ for around six years. This extended maturation period allows the wine to develop its complex aroma and flavor profile, marked by a harmonious balance and refined elegance.

About the Wine

The 2014 vintage of Quintarelli Giuseppe’s Valpolicella Classico Superiore reveals the remarkable adaptability and craftsmanship of the winery, especially in a year marked by humid and rainy conditions. Many producers in Valpolicella chose to forego their top-tier Amarone wines, channeling their best fruit into wines like this one. The result is a Valpolicella that reflects both the challenges and triumphs of the vintage.

On the nose, this wine opens with intriguing spicy notes, accompanied by hints of tarry smoke and cured tobacco. These savory elements create a compelling first impression. As the wine unfolds, it reveals layers of tart and brambly fruit, characteristic of the vintage’s influence. Despite the challenges, the ripeness is well-presented and balanced, offering a harmonious profile.

As mentioned earlier the 2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore underwent a partial and brief appassimento process, which imparts a subtle yet noticeable depth. Compared to previous vintages, this wine is somewhat thinner, yet it showcases a streamlined and elegant approach that is thoroughly enjoyable. On the palate, it offers pronounced aromas of fresh amarena cherries, sweet fruit, and kirsch, underscored by notes of ash, smoke, violets, and tobacco. The subtle hints of chocolate, cardamom, earl grey tea, rose petals, and sun-dried tomatoes add complexity and intrigue. Medium-bodied with a good backbone of acidity and ripe tannins, the wine is elegant and well-structured. It finishes with a particularly long aftertaste, leaving a lasting impression of refined sophistication.


Whether paired with a meal or enjoyed on its own, the 2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore by Quintarelli is a testament to the winery’s ability to craft exceptional wines, even in less-than-ideal conditions. This vintage not only maintains the high standards of the estate but also offers a unique and streamlined elegance that wine enthusiasts will appreciate.

We award this Italian Classic with a 94-point DWA score.

This review is written by our own Niels Aarts. The wines of Giuseppe Quintarelli are produced in very low quantities and belong to the top of the wine world. Specialized retailers and top restaurants are your place to find wines like these. Picture credits: Daan (Mijn Wijn Hobby).

Price:                          €110,00

Taste date:                May 2024

Score:                         94/100 DWA Score

Website:                    Giuseppe Quintarelli