Dal Forno, 2005 Valpolicella Superiore (Magnum)
Variety: Corvina blend
This wine….. From a year where the Amarone was not made, meaning all the best fruit went into the Valpolicella. They created a baby Amarone at a fraction of the price.
Amarone is arguably the richest, densest and most powerful wine in the world, a veritable show stopper and without rival. Romano Dal Forno is known as Veneto’s ‘Grape King’, the vanguard of modern Amarone and such vernacular ignites the debate over whether Dal Forno or Quintarelli is the greatest of all! Quintarelli embodies the more rustic, ascetic and traditional style, while Dal Forno exemplifies hedonism, unquantifiable power and boldness. Dal Forno’s Amarone is a radical reinvention of one of Italy’s most famous wines. It is impenitent, intoxicating and a provoking wine. In 1990 Dal Forno abandoned traditional ageing in Slovenian oak, instead ageing in 225 litre French oak barrique; thereby bringing a Grand Cru claret style to the wine. He also experiments with the passito method and the general ageing rules, releasing the wines after a five year combined period in barrique and bottle. Dal Forno rejected the Molinara grape, replacing it with Oseleta, which he felt enhanced the wines’ colour and provides finely tuned acidity. He enhanced the drying process by bringing in a circulation system for 90 days. Dal Forno uses very low yields and an austere selection process admitting only the most exceptional grapes: if he is not happy with a vintage, he declassifies it, as such there was no 2007. His eight hectare vineyard in Illasi has a maximum capacity of 1,500 cases, however, in most years many fewer are produced.
Dal Forno is simply one of the world’s leading growers and producers, and the average case price of his wines has risen 50% in the last five years; older vintages are incredibly difficult to source. The global wine market has an insatiable demand for the world’s greatest wines and Dal Forno’s Valpolicella and Amarone are the Romanee Conti and Petrus of the Veneto. The quality is astounding and provides something rare, diverse and truly exceptional.