Dal Forno Romano

Veneto, Italy

Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2017

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  • Introduction

    • The Dal Forno family has been making wine since 1983. Located in Val D’Illasi, the estate consists of 65 acres of vines planted to traditional indigenous varieties of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina. The estate vineyards and farm are located where the slopes begin to rise toward the mountains and sit 1,000 feet above sea level. The loose, alluvial soils, meticulous pruning and scrupulous viticultural techniques ensure remarkable-quality grapes. The Dal Fornos use traditional methods to grow the finest fruit, and then employ modern techniques to produce the best wines — classic in expression and modern in purity.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: Valpolicella Superiore DOC
    • Cultivation: Sustainable
    • Size: 34 hectares (83.98 acres)
    • Soil: Clayey limestone soil on the hill; Stony and sandy soil on the valley floor
    • Elevation: 280-350 meters (919 -1,148 feet)
    • Exposure: South, East and West
    • Density: 12,800 vines/hectare (5,182 vines/acre)
    • Training: Guyot
  • Vintage Report

    • The 2017 vintage saw a succession of unforeseen weather events that caused moments of concern, starting with the scarcity of rain that plagued Valpolicella and the surrounding area. Unlike the usual 1000-1200 mm of water per year, 2017 closed with a total of less than 700 mm, concentrated almost exclusively towards the end of the year. Drip irrigation made it possible to keep the vegetative state of the vineyard healthy, preventing water stress.

      Secondly, the spring was very mild, with higher-than-average temperatures from March until mid-April, favoring an early vegetative recovery. However, around April 20th, a sudden drop in temperatures caused a total collapse in production in the lowland areas of the region. The estate’s vineyards were not affected by the frost, but still suffered from the low temperatures of the unfortunate week.

      After a smooth summer, the countryside was hit by a violent hailstorm on September 2nd, resulting in a 45% loss of production. Long and painstaking work on the selection of the grapes in plateaux resulted in high-quality production, albeit very small.

      In conclusion, despite the difficulties encountered throughout the year, the outcome is a vintage that is qualitatively in line with the average.

  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: In temperature-controlled steel tanks (around 28 degrees), equipped with a sophisticated computerized system that allows automatic punching-down over a period of around 15 days, including the final two days of maceration.
    • Aging: After racking, the Valpolicella rests for a few days in stainless steel tanks, which thanks to their special shape, allow easy decanting, and is then matured in new barriques. Fro the 2017 vintage, the Valpolicella was aged for 36 months.
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 70% Corvina and Corvina grossa, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta
    • Alcohol: 14.5%
    • TA: 5.8 g/L
    • p H: 3.67
    • RS: 0.6 g/L



  • Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2017 – Wine Enthusiast – 92 Points

    “Dense aromas of spiced black plum, violets, fig and espresso lift from the glass. The wine is polished and taut with fine tannins and well structured with present oak notes giving way to macerated black cherries, star anise, tobacco leaf and tilled earth.”

  • Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2017 – James Suckling – 95 Points

    “Pungent nose of violets, amarena cherries, dried figs and lightly charred oak. Some toffee notes emerge with air, together with more pressed flowers. Not so much full-bodied as full-flavored, with silky, fine and polished tannins. Very young and driven at the moment.”

  • Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2017 – Vinous – 95 Points

    “Taking this in reminds me of all of the desserts, spices and confections experienced on Christmas day. An array of medicinal cherries, plum sauce, ginger cookies, cloves, cinnamon and dried roses captivate. There's tremendous depth here, but it maintains fantastic freshness. This is wildly spicy and intense, yet deep, with brilliant acidity, which enlivens the crunchy red fruits and pretty inner florals within.”

  • Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2017 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points

    “A compact, focused red, this presents pretty violet, medicinal herb and anise notes on the nose as it slowly expands -- flavors that are more subdued at first on the palate. This is supported by dense, plushly textured tannins, flavors of mulled cherry, dark chocolate and amaro, loamy earth and smoke that are slowly revealed, gaining momentum and lingering on the long finish. Give this some air or time in the glass to allow it to shine brightest.”