The wine blogging community (and the wine world I would assume) is abuzz with the recent news of the death of legendary Veneto winemaker Giuseppe Quintarelli, who lost the battle with Parkinson Disease at 84 years old on January 15th.  Eric Asimov at the New York Times to Jeremy Parzen at Do Bianchi, to name just two, are weighing in with their respects.  And while the wines of Quintarelli have remained in the hands of the very few due to their limited (and loving) production and their relatively high prices, they have one point which I think speaks to the singular respect for Giuseppe.  Namely, that Quintarelli has come to represent the bench mark producer, more so than any other major wine region I can think of.  By that I mean that Quintarelli was leaps and bounds ahead of other producers in the Veneto; in terms of his advancements, his individuality, his traditionalism, and his steadfastness.  Quintarelli made wines the way he had to; he listened to his own voice (and perhaps God’s), to the truth, and not to fashion.  As a result he earned a very serious following amongst collectors, wine geeks, and the like.  There are very few others I can think of, maybe Marcel Lapierre in Beaujolais, or Gianfranco Soldera in Brunello, or Paolo Bea in Montefalco, who might come close to having occupied the singular air that Guiseppe Quintarelli occupied.  The king of the Veneto is dead.  Let us shed a tear and raise a glass…

Guiseppe Quintarelli 2007 “Primofiore” ~$45.00

Intense dark fruits, violets, stoney minerality, menthol.  Vibrant, young, persistent.  Cabernet Franc similarities abound, reminding me of Loire Cab Franc, except with greater depth and individuality.  At $45 buck you may balk, but this is entry level for Quintarelli, and worth every penny.  If this stuff is this good, can you imagine what you get when you add another zero?  The end of an era, thank you Giuseppe.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED