Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2003
Other Red Wine from Veneto, Italy
A big, burly red, with lots of charred oak and smoky bacon character coloring the rich, ripe crushed berry fruit. Hints of flowers and black cardamom add to the complexity. Full-bodied, with well-poised, velvety tannins that capture the flavors and drive them through the long finish.
Wine Spectator - "A big, burly red, with lots of charred oak and smoky bacon character coloring the rich, ripe crushed berry fruit. Hints of flowers and black cardamom add to the complexity. Full-bodied, with well-poised, velvety tannins that capture the flavors and drive them through the long finish. Needs cellaring, but this is fabulous now too. Best after 2010."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Valpolicella Superiore comes across as shockingly primary for a five-year old wine. Masses of jammy dark fruit flow onto the palate in a concentrated, generous style. The firm tannins are those of the torrid 2003 vintage, yet this broad-shouldered, expansive wine has more than enough fruit to provide balance. Notes of chocolate, leather, coffee and sweet spices gradually emerge with air, yet this remains a backward, unyielding wine at the moment. As with the 2004, this wine needs serious bottle age, or eight to ten hours of air for those adventurous enough to take it for a test drive now. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2020.
All of these wines from Romano Dal Forno require significant aeration to show the true breadth of this passionate grower’s innovative style. Ideally the wines should be cellared for a minimum of a few years. Readers in search of short-term gratification are advised to open these bottles at least eight to ten hours before serving. This also holds for the Valpolicella, which has become an especially massive, structured wine after Dal Forno started producing it from 100% dried fruit in the 2002 vintage. Dal Forno favors 100% new American oak for his wines, although in recent years he has brought the aging regime down considerably."
Dal Forno Romano Winery
This family winery is located in Val d’Illasi where the Dal Forno have owned prime vineyards for fourth generation. Luigi DalForno was well known for the quality of his wines and his grandson Romano has carried on the traditions since 1983, when he took over the running of the Estate. In 1990 a new winery was built, it uses modern technologies while maintaining the traditions of these famous wines.
The great richness of Dal Forno's wines is derived from the extremely low yields of this artisan’s 12.5-hectare estate outside the Classico zone. His dense, creamy Valpolicella is among the best of the Veneto, and his 'Nettare' is part of the comeback of garganega, the grape behind Soave that we find here formally dressed as a white passito dessert wine. View all Dal Forno Romano Wines
About VenetoView a map of Veneto wineries (vey-NEH-toe)
Notable FactsThe wine of Soave is most common white wine made here. Occasionally you can find an exceptional Soave, but for the most part the wine is easy-drinking and refreshingly pleasant. For the reds, the most popular are Amarone and Valpolicella – both made primarily from the good structured Corvina grape. While Amarone is always made in the recioto method (drying out the grapes to intensify the flavor), Valpolicella has a few different levels. Amarone is made from very ripe grapes, which are then dried and then pressed, producing an opulent, concentrated, full-bodied wine that has a distinctive and powerful taste that stays with you. Not for the lighter fare meal, this wine is almost port-like and delicious with cheese and/or dessert. Valpolicella can also be made in the recioto method, but it's more often found in a dry style – the wine goes up in rank, from Valpolicella to Valpolicella Classico to Valpolicella Classico Superiore. And finally, the bubbly of Veneto – Prosecco. Made from the same-named grape, Prosecco is less fizzy than Champagne and occasionally has a slight sweetness. It's absolutely delicious as a value aperitif.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.