Wine Region: Valpolicella Superiore DOC
Grape: 70% Corvina and Corvina grossa, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta
Total Production: 9,000 Bottles
Accolades: JS95 & RP95
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:
“This is a terrific wine that stood out—and stood tall—despite the fact that it was tasted alongside some of Dal Forno’s most important vintages of the topshelf Amarone. If that’s not a full-on recommendation, I don’t know what is.The 2013 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta oozes forth with thick concentration and an inky black color. The mouthfeel is thick and impenetrable, and the senses are treated to a long succession of black fruit, tar, spice, smoke, mesquite and barbecue flavors. The wine is full-bodied and very opulent, but it carries that massive intensity with grace and precision. This Valpolicella Superiore is very nicely done.”
The 2013 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is an especially elegant, pretty and understated expression of the Dal Forno style. Black cherries dipped in rum, plum sauce, brown spices and a dusting of cocoa rise up from the glass. It’s silky and polished, seamlessly washing across the palate with plush ripe red and black currants, while leaving minerals and a fine coating of tannin in its wake. Zesty acids add further cheek-puckering tension, as this tapers off structured, with notes of mocha and mentholated herbs lingering long.
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.