Wine Region: Amarone Valpolicella DOCG
Grape: 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, and 10% Croatina
Total Production: 9,000 Bottles
Accolades: JS95, RP98 & Decanter 98
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:
“This is a deeply communicative and articulate wine that boasts immense power and persistence. The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a creation of enormous beauty and unflinching intensity. The wine speaks at loud volumes with black cherry, spice, tarry smoke, barbecue marinade and grilled rosemary. Those balsam notes add length and continuity to the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine is complete and penetrating. It wraps thickly over the palate to soothe and entice your taste buds. Yet there is enough crispness to keep it from feeling cloying or too heavy. There is a point of tannic astringency on the finish that will accompany this wine over the next decade of its aging evolution. For that reason, it’s best to wait before popping the cork on this memorable vinous experience.”
Subtle aromatic hints, that range from black cherry, blueberry to chocolate, anticipate the opulent expression of mature fruit that flows into the mouth with inadvertent persistence. Nuances of truffle, tobacco and new leather wrap around the finish.
About the Winery:
Along with Giuseppe Quintarelli, Dal Forno Romano makes the best wines in the Veneto. The history of Dal Forno Romano, however, is much shorter, and its rise to fame much faster.
The Dal Forno family had long owned vines in Valpolicella, in Illasi – on the eastern side of the historical Classico zone. The fruit had, however, always been sold to the local co-op. In 1983, discouraged by the lowly prices his family received for their grapes, Romano Dal Forno decided to start making his own wine.
He went to visit the already famous Giuseppe Quintarelli, who offered the young upstart encouragement in his venture. Despite his father’s and the locals’ dismissal of his ambition, he – with the help of his wife Loretta – set about crafting the best wines possible.
With no prior experience, he learnt everything as he went along. In a constant pursuit of perfection, he built a state-of-the-art winery (completed in 2008), developing his own vacuum-pressured tanks, inventing new technology for extraction – all to better his wines. He replaced Molinara in blends with Croatina and Orseleta – the former for its complex sugars and intensity of flavor, the latter for colour, tannin and acidity. His reputation grew in an astonishingly short time.
The wines were – at first – made in imitation of Quintarelli, with even the Dal Forno labels bearing a a looping script not dissimilar to Quintarelli’s. Today, however, the wines stand on their own reputation, considered on a par with Quintarelli’s, rivalling them in both prestige and price. The wines are some of the deepest, densest, most concentrated and age-worthy expressions of the region, yet they bear a freshness and finesse that is remarkable for wines of this stature.
Today Michele, Luca and Marco – Romano’s sons – are all involved, gradually taking over in the vineyards and winery. The focus is constantly on striving for greatness, implementing exacting standards and pushing to see how they can make the wines even better.