The 2007 Valpolicella Superiore from the celebrated Monte Lodoletta vineyard is rock-tight with a midnight black appearance and aromas that emerge with fierce determination. The fascinating aromatic medley includes dark spice, prune, Spanish cedar, tar, black licorice, balsam herb and blackberry tart. The mouthfeel is plush and rich with super-tight tannins that grip nervously to the finish. It has only started its bottle evolution and requires more time to soften and develop. Drink 2017-2035.
The wines of Romano Dal Forno are always a highlight of my annual tasting calendar. In many regards, these radically unique wines put the wine critic to the test, not the other way around. I approach the evaluation with a certain level of apprehension and am willing to bet that many of my wine-writing colleagues experience similar emotions. Dal Forno’s wines throw so much at you at once, in machine-gun rapid-fire succession, you need extra time to recover from the whiplash, gather your thoughts and assess them correctly. They are nearly impossible to taste blind because the enormity of the sensorial characteristics, the stratospheric intensity and the utterly impenetrable appearance are dead giveaways. These wines shout their true identities at ear-piercing decibels. Tasted too young, they are not even likeable. The exaggerated extraction and astringency make them unapproachable for years. Amazingly, beyond the cacophony is melody. Once I “got” these wines, I started to consider them like unique works of art. A painting could hold violent splashes of color but still bring peace to the viewer. A fashion design could be outrageously modeled but still bring comfort to the wearer. Loud percussions can still be part of beautiful music. By the way, the 2007 Amarone was not produced, so production will skip ahead directly to 2008. At press time, I was informed that Dal Forno is no longer represented by Vias Imports in the United States. Folio Fine Wine Partners is the new importer, so these prices may change once Folio brings their new inventory over.