Quintessa, like all classic wines of the world, bears the same name as the vineyard from which it is made. In broad terms, Quintessa is a red meritage wine. Each year, it is a blend that can include some or all of the five varietals grown on the estate: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. The vineyard’s diversity provides a wide stylistic options for the winemaker. Fruit from each component block of Quintessa is harvested, and upon completion of fermentation, each block of wine is aged separately for up to two years in french oak barrels in their caves. After this aging period the components are brought together and the final Quintessa blend is created. The wine is then bottled and laid down for yet another year before release, yielding each vintage being unique, but with finesse and elegance from the character of the vineyards. Quintessa is a wine that complements food extremely well.
I recently tasted this at an event hosted by Quintessa representatives, at my favorite wine shop, Stew Leonard’s Wine, and thought the wine was truly outstanding, almost a crime drinking it so young when only time will enhance the wine. The 2011 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The wine was aged for 21 months in French oak (85% new). Pouring a glass of this remarkable wine I noticed a deep ruby red color with complex aromas of red and black fruits, and spicy notes of earthy peppery scents. The palate shows juicy red cherries, wild blackberries and herbs. On the long finish, notes of leather and cacao were present as well as structured tannins and a gentle mineral essence which gave this wine tremendous balance and silky finesse. This wine is truly a remarkable gem from Agustin Huneeus, and if you are looking for something truly special, grab a Quintessa, you will not be disappointed.