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Dal Forno Romano Amarone della Valpolicella 1998

  • RP96
  • WS95
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta is a supreme example of this wine, almost overwhelming in its aromatic impact, luxuriously sweet, ripe, jammy, and chocolatey, mouthfilling and powerful in flavor, broad and caressing, solid and sustained from the attack to the lengthy, lingering finish, superbly shaped and balanced, pedal to the floor power and shapely elegance all in one package. The score is probably too conservative, but it can easily be checked over the next 25 years.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Complex nose, with layers of dried fruit, allspice, minerals and hints of coffee cream, tobacco and leather. Full-bodied, with peppery fruit and mineral on the palate, big, young tannins and a long, long finish. Ultrarich. Re-mortgage for this one. Drink now through 2010. 600 cases made.
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Dal Forno Romano

Dal Forno Romano

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Dal Forno Romano, Italy
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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.

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Valpolicella

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Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines, Valpolicella literally translates to the “valley of cellars” and is composed of a series of valleys (named Fumane, Marano and Negrare) that start in the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains and end in the southern plains of the Veneto. Here vineyards adorn the valley hillsides, rising up to just over 1,300 feet.

The classification of its red wines makes this appellation unique. Whereas most Italian regions claim the wines from one or two grapes as superior, or specific vineyards or communes most admirable, Valpolicella ranks the caliber of its red wines based on delimited production methods, and every tier uses the same basic blending grapes.

Corvina holds the most esteem among varieties here and provides the backbone of the best reds of Valpolicella. Also typical in the blends, in lesser quantities, are Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Corvinone and a few other minor red varieties.

Valpolicella Classico, the simplest category, is where the region’s top values are found and resembles in style light and fruity Beaujolais. The next tier of reds, called Valpolicella Superiore, represents a darker and more serious and concentrated expression of Valpolicella, capable of pairing with red meat, roast poultry and hard cheeses.

Most prestigious in Valpolicella are the dry red, Amarone della Valpolicella, and its sweet counterpart, Recioto della Valpolicella. Both are created from harvested grapes left to dry for three to five months before going to press, resulting in intensely rich, lush, cerebral and cellar-worthy wines.

Falling in between Valpolicella Superiore and Amarone is a style called Valpolicella Ripasso, which has become immensely popular only since the turn of the century. Ripasso literally means “repassed” and is made by macerating fresh Valpolicella on the pressed grape skins of Amarone. As a result, a Ripasso will have more depth and complexity compared to a regular Superiore but is more approachable than an Amarone.

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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SEC524914_1998 Item# 524914