2014 Quintarelli 'Ca del Merlo' Veneto Rosso
Rosso Ca del Merlo is the brother of the Valpolicella Classico Superiore of Quintarelli. They are made the same way - 50/50 fresh grapes and dried grapes (appassimento) then re-fermented on the gross lees of the Amarone, a process that they call Ripasso. The wine comes their beautiful vineyards on basalt and limestone slopes, harvested for ripeness and acidity with the utmost care and precision given to every step of the complicated winemaking process. This is one of the harder to find wines from Quintarelli's range, they don't make very much of this and only a small portion is destined for the USA.
The wine itself is a combination of richness and density, but like all Quintarelli's wines, never heavy. The fruit is darker than it's Valpolicella sibling and show the tannic grip of the Cabernets. It has fruit, of course, particularly black plums, prunes, maybe a touch of black olive, but the nose and palate are complex with notes of forest floor, roses, tobacco, and minerals.
• 55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc Nebbiolo, Croatina, Sangiovese.
• A single vineyard bottling
• 50% of grapes are pressed immediately after harvest, 50% are dried for 2 months
• After 3-4 days of maceration, primary fermentation starts with indigenous yeasts
• Wine is racked and then sits until February
• Wine is racked onto the lees of the Amarone which starts a second alcoholic fermentation (this process is called ripasso)
• After this fermentation, the wine is racked into large Slavonian oak barrels for seven years