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The Dal Forno family considered the idea of releasing their Amarone ten years after the harvest. If that plan had been implemented, this would be the vintage on the market now. The 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a full and generous expression that delivers thick lines and robust flavors of dried blackberry, camphor ash, exotic cedar wood, licorice and tarry road pavement. This vintage saw average temperatures throughout the growing season with a few hailstorms along the way. Very dry weather led to some mild drought in July and August, with ensuing ripening and concentration of the clusters. I found this monumental wine to be irresistible when I first tasted it five years ago, and I consider it to have improved since then. This is one of the most complete and comprehensive vintages produced at Dal Forno, and it gives us an ample 360-degree view onto the might, brawn and potential of this icon wine from the Veneto. Its evolutionary track shows no sign of slowing down.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPThis is powerful and very rich with blueberries, flowers and hints of spices. Full body with velvety tannins and ripe fruits. Very beautiful and generous but not overdone. Superb.James Suckling | 98 JSA remarkable vintage, with an early spring and very warm summer, producing grapes with potential sugar levels second only to 2003. As you may expect, then, this wine is bursting with plush, sweet red and black fruits; so tight and grippy as to be almost impenetrable at present. There is some cherry, herb and spirity damson towards the finish, but that really is just the tip of the iceberg. Drinking Window 2021 - 2048.Decanter | 97 DECThe 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella is one of the most sexy, open-knit young Dal Forno Amarones I can remember tasting. An enticing mélange of mocha, black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and leather captivates the senses. Incredibly open today, the 2009 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring or aged for twenty years, perhaps beyond. Although the 2009 doesn't quite reach the heights of the truly epic vintages here, it comes very close and will provide considerable pleasure sooner than many of those wines. I don't think I have ever tasted a young Dal Forno Amarone with this much allure.Vinous Media | 95 VMRich, with aromatic herb and tarry smoke notes, this silky, supple red is framed by mouthwatering acidity and dusty tannins. Shows ripe and concentrated flavors of date, sun-dried cherry, forest floor and ground spice, displaying a sense of harmony and density that suggests a long future. The finish echoes the spice and sweet fruit character. Drink now through 2029. 1,830 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS
From the second I tilted the glass, I knew that the 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella was a total knockout. Macerated cherries are contrasted by a whiff of tangerine that gives way to vibrant rose tones and autumnal spice. This soothes with glycerol waves of spicy red fruits complemented by cinnamon, clove and dark, dark chocolate tones. There’s tremendous balance here with bright acids and a totally sexy and exotic style. This just goes on and on and finishes structured and firm yet incredibly fresh, leaving the palate stained in concentration as violet floral tones fade. For all of its heady depth and concentration, there are only two grams per liter of residual sugar. You don’t need to save this riveting Amarone for the dessert course.Vinous Media | 97 VMOwner Marco Sartori has slowly modified his winemaking over the years. He dries the grapes for less time these days, especially in hot years, and ferments at cooler temperatures for a more gentle extraction. And, as of 2016, a portion of the wine ages in large Slavonian oak casks (instead of 100% barriques) for less oxidation of the fruit. The 2016 is deeply coloured and youthful with wood spice and smoke dominating the nose. Compact, concentrated fruit is wrapped up in dense tannins, and hints of blackberry and anise emerge on the palpably dry palate. This definitely needs time to unfurl. Release date: January 2021. Drinking Window 2022 - 2032.Decanter | 90 DEC
Dark and almost smoky in the glass, the 2020 Valpolicella Superiore Classico Ripasso smolders up with a mix of musky red currants and savory herbs lifted by a hint of menthol. Silky smooth and with a pleasant inner sweetness, this soothes with ripe red fruits and saline-infused acidity. Licorice and lavender nuances are left to linger as this finishes only lightly structured and with finesseVinous Media | 92 VMA fragrant red with notes of dried raspberries, strawberries, earth and dried flowers. Medium body with silky tannins and fresh acidity. Crunchy, with plenty of redcurrants in the finish. Not quite complex, but tasty, laid-back and easy to drink. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 91 JS
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