Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2014 – Wine & Spirits – 95 Points
The 2014 growing season in Valpolicella was plagued by hail in June and copious rain through mid-October, leaving the grape skins fragile and, in the estimation of Romano Dal Forno, not suitable for making Amarone. Instead, he used all of the fruit he and his team could salvage to make this wine, selecting only the best bunches and drying them for 45 days. After fermentation, the wine rested in new oak barrels for two years and another three in bottle, developing a rich complexity that reads more like an Amarone than a typical Valpolicella. It unfolds with flavors of warmed cherry and dried plum layered with notes of espresso, dark chocolate and a savory hint of amaro. There’s a tart tinge to the fruit that enhances the wine’s drinkability and brightens those rich oak-derived flavors. Even with all of the estate’s fruit going into this Valpolicella, Dal Forno made only 27,000 bottles, 30 percent less than normal.