Valpolicella Superiore DOC – 2014
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.
- Appellation: Valpolicella Superiore DOC
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 26 hectares (64.22 acres)
- Soil: Originate from alluvial plains; composed of 70% gravel, 15% silt, and 15% clayfrom alluvial plains, composed of 70% gravel, 15% silt, and 15% clay
- Elevation: 50-250 meters (251-820 feet)
- Exposure: South
- Density: 12,800 vines/hectare (5,182 vines/acre)
- Training: Guyot
2014 was a challenging vintage and the Dal Forno family made the tough decision of not producing any Amarone in order to guarantee the highest level of quality. The ripening season started earlier compared to the five previous vintages, following a regular spring and a flowering at the end of May/early June. Unfortunately, a strong hail storm on June 24 hit most vineyards. The hail was concentrated 3-4ha in the northern part, sparing the vineyards on the hillside. From the end of June through mid-October, rain fell constantly and copiously. This weather created a situation where the grape skins were thinner than usual, making them fragile and not suitable for drying. By mid-August, Dal Forno decided to not produce any Amarone and concentrate all efforts to make the best possible Valpolicella.
Dal Forno produced 27,000 bottles of Valpolicella in 2014, 30% less than a regular vintage and no Amarone.
From September 10 – October 22, the finest bunches of grapes are selected, after which a meticulous manual control is carried out to eliminate all grapes that do not meet the standards required. The selected grapes are then placed in a plastic plateaux and are then left to rest for 45 days in large open rooms, where an innovative ventilation system helps maintain an elevated and thorough air flow.
- Fermentation: Fermentation takes place in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of around 28°C, which are equipped with a sophisticated computerized system which allows for automated punching for a period of around 15 days, including the final maceration which takes two days.
- Aging: After the racking process, the Valpolicella rests for a few days in stainless steel tanks which, thanks to their particular shape, allows for easy decantation and, subsequently, is placed in new barrels to mature for 24 months, followed by 36 months in bottle.
- Varietal Composition: 70% Corvina and Corvina grossa, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, and 5% Oseleta
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- TA: 6.65 g/L
- p H: 3.50
- RS: 1.0 g/L
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore DOC – 2014 – Wine Spectator – 91 Points
Rich notes of fig cake, loamy earth, sun-dried cherry and forest floor are framed by gutsy, well-knit tannins and tangy citrus peel acidity in this full-throttle Valpolicella. Accents of Earl Grey tea leaf, dried lavender and sandalwood create an aromatic overtone that lingers on the chewy finish.”
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore DOC – 2014 – Vinous – 94 Points
The 2014 is a unique rendition of Dal Forno’s Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta. It's a remarkably pretty wine, displaying crushed ripe strawberries and plums with cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean and a cooling hint of mint. The textures are velvety, coating all that they touch in glycerol fruit concentration, yet somehow coming across as zesty and spry, contrasting weight with saturating notes of tart blackberry and savory spice. There’s a bit of a lull in the midpalate, yet it hardly takes away from the experience...
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore DOC — 2014 – Wine & Spirits – 95 Points
The 2014 growing season in Valpolicella was plagued by hail in June and copious rain through mid-October, leaving the grape skins fragile and, in the estimation of Romano Dal Forno, not suitable for making Amarone. Instead, he used all of the fruit he and his team could salvage to make this wine, selecting only the best bunches and drying them for 45 days. After fermentation, the wine rested in new oak barrels for two years and another three in bottle, developing a rich complexity that reads more like an Amarone than a typical Valpolicella. It unfolds with flavors of warmed cherry...
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore DOC – 2014 – James Suckling – 95 Points
A beautiful, polished red with dried-berry, plum, floral and cedar aromas. Full body and a flavorful finish. Extremely refined and polished, more so than many past vintages. Already gorgeous, but needs a year or two to come together. Better after 2022.