VENETO - ITALY
Amarone is arguably the richest, densest and most powerful wine in the world, a veritable show stopper and without rival. Romano Dal Forno is known as Veneto’s ‘Grape King’, the vanguard of modern Amarone. As such, we are delighted to offer the new releases of Dal Forno’s Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 and Valpolicella Superiore 2011. These wines have scored 99 points and 96 points respectively from leading critic Andrew Jefford writing for Decanter, offering collectors superb quality in yet another lovely vintage.
Dal Forno’s Amarone is a radical reinvention of one of Italy’s most famous wines. It is impenitent, intoxicating and a provoking wine. Dal Forno uses extremely low yields and an austere selection process admitting only the most exceptional grapes. The 2011 displays classic notes of chocolate, dark berries and lavender and it has a very long life ahead of it. The global wine market has an insatiable demand for the world’s greatest wines and Dal Forno’s Amarone has been called the ‘Petrus of the Veneto’.
Dal Forno’s Valpolicella Superiore is consistently one of the highest quality reds from the north of Italy, and that is true of this vintage in particular. In fact, Antonio Galloni posits that “Dal Forno should really change the name of his… Valpolicella Superiore. This is really an Amarone for all practical intents and purposes, since 2002 made entirely from fruit that has been dried, albeit for less time than that legally required for Amarone." Dal Forno’s Valpolicella Superiore simply offers a chance to own a pseudo-Amarone from the King of Amarone for less than a third of the price! It is hard to express how exceptional this wine is and it should be found in any fine wine lover’s cellar. It is certainly the greatest Valpolicella that we have ever tasted.
There is such pride in the Dal Forno staple that if the vintage is not up to the highest standard then it is declassified, most recently in 2007. 2011 was blessed with a hot and dry summer ideal for these rich, ripe wines. Romano’s son, Michele dal Forno states,“we’re confident the wines made in 2011 will represent a milestone for many years to go.” Both wines are made in tiny quantities – it takes seven vines to produce a bottle of Valpolicella, and an almighty ten vines to make a single, very special bottle of Amarone. Michele Dal Forno’s rigorous selection and draconian standards make these incredibly concentrated, full wines very hard to come by; at most 1,500 cases are made in one year.
Amarone Della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta 2015
100 points, James Suckling - "This is black as pitch in the glass and, yes, there’s a light, tarry edge to the super-concentrated prune, date and currant fruit. But even more interesting are the complex notes of bitter-orange liqueur, aged balsamic, fresh roasting herbs, cinnamon, roasted chestnuts, black tea and licorice. The more you decant in advance, the more nuances will emerge. It’s full-boded with huge concentration and lots of chewy tannin that is managing to hold the fruit back for now. This needs plenty of time to develop in the bottle. Just superb. One of the greatest Dal Forno’s ever."
Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta 2015
96 points, James Suckling - ”Such a profound nose of fresh and dried fruit with blackcurrants, dates and prunes, together with lighter notes of mild spice and pomegranate seeds. The fresher elements provide the drive on the full palate and, together with very fine, bright, fine-grained tannins, give a long, chewy yet fresh and pruney finish. Hugely concentrated, but the balance and poise is impeccable. There’s no denying the classic quality of this. Delicious to taste now, but this needs a few years to integrate. Try from 2025.”