Ex-Chateau Released in 2021
AG98 Compelling. With a little air, the tannins begin to soften, releasing a myriad of intense dark aromas and flavors. Bittersweet chocolate, cloves, violets, plums, and blackberry jam cover every inch of the palate in a stunning, head-spinning Amarone that captures all of the best qualities of the year. When Romano Dal Forno's wines are on, there is nothing quite like them, and that is certainly the case here. If opened young, the 2008 needs a little air. Actually, a lot of air.
JS97 Wonderful aromas of rose petal, blackberry, sugared walnut, and hints of sea salt. Full body, ultra-fine tannins, and a warm, enticing palate with dried fruits, blackberry, black olive, and freshly cracked slate. Fabulous Amarone.
RP96 Production was skipped over in 2007 due to extreme hail damage. The fruit that would normally be destined to Amarone went to the lower tier Valpolicella Superiore instead. The 2008 Amarone Della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta marks a return to a slightly cooler vintage with a longer growing season slowed down during the summer's moderate temperatures. Indeed, harvest was wrapped up during the first days of November. The blend is mostly Corvina, at about 60%, with smaller parts Corvinone, Rondinella, Croatina, and Oseleta. The new Dal Forno winery was finished in 2008, complete with the unique vacuum-sealed fermentation tasks that help to avoid any intrusive oxygen during winemaking. Indeed, this wine is balanced and elegant with fruit that is still crunchy and very much alive. The tannins are firm and nicely integrated into the wine's thick, fleshy consistency. This vintage is characterized by a very elegant and graceful approach, which must be taken into context given the enormity of a wine of this caliber. Happily, there is no doubt that this vintage should still evolve steadily over time.
RP99 The Dal Forno family considered the idea of releasing their Amarone ten years after the harvest. If that plan had been implemented, this would be the vintage on the market now. The 2009 Amarone Della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a full and generous expression that delivers thick lines and robust flavors of dried blackberry, camphor ash, exotic cedarwood, licorice, and tarry road pavement. This vintage saw average temperatures throughout the growing season with a few hailstorms along the way. Very dry weather led to some mild drought in July and August, with ensuing ripening and concentration of the clusters. I found this monumental wine to be irresistible when I first tasted it five years ago, and I consider it to have improved since then. This is one of the most complete and comprehensive vintages produced at Dal Forno, and it gives us an ample 360-degree view of the might, brawn, and potential of this icon wine from the Veneto. Its evolutionary track shows no sign of slowing down.
JS98 This is powerful and very rich with blueberries, flowers, and hints of spices. Full body with velvety tannins and ripe fruits. Very beautiful and generous but not overdone. Superb.
AG95 The 2009 Amarone Della Valpolicella is one of the sexiest, open-knit young Dal Forno Amarones I can remember tasting. An enticing mélange of mocha, black cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and leather captivates the senses. Incredibly open today, the 2009 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring or aged for twenty years, perhaps beyond. Although the 2009 doesn't quite reach the heights of the truly epic vintages here, it comes very close and will provide considerable pleasure sooner than many of those wines. I don't think I have ever tasted a young Dal Forno Amarone with this much allure.