2010 Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta

Year: 2010
Appellation: Veneto
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"Leather, spice, violet and smoke aromas and flavors are an aromatic entry for this expressive red, wafting through notes of plumped black cherry, underbrush and smoky mineral. Firm and dense, but with an overall sense of finesse to the marriage of structure and flavor. Drink now through 2025. 900 cases imported.?AN " (WS)

"The 2010 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is more precise and focused compared to the 2011 edition that I tasted at the estate at the same time. This was not an easy vintage in Valpolicella compared to other parts of Italy that enjoyed a classic growing season. Instead, this Northern corner of Italy suffered from heavy rains and some hail damage. Overall yields were lower as a result. But the wine sings in terms of its brightness and aromatic intensity today. The expressive bouquet covers all the bases from black fruit to spice to drying mineral or flint. All of these elements conspire to bring robust flavors together with smooth and seamless transitions.

I enjoyed a very rewarding visit with the Dal Forno family in early Spring. The past decade has seen the refurbishing of the new winery and more construction to the monumental estate that sits just beyond tall gates in Cellore d'Illasi, Valpolicella. Romano Dal Forno is at work on his succession plan and the generational shift is clearly underway with more winemaking and marketing responsibilities now passed off to his sons. In addition to the wines reviewed here, I had the opportunity to preview taste the 2012 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta and the 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta. These are promising wines that will be scored towards the end of the year when they are ready for review. Romano Dal Forno did not make Amarone in 2014, although his Valpolicella Superiore was produced." (WA)

"Amazing aromas of dried fruits, burnt orange and walnut skin. Full-bodied, chewy and very rich and dry, with wonderful tannin-fruit tension. It's layered, textured and complex. A triumph. Drink now." (JS)

Winery Notes:
A big, burly red, with lots of charred oak and smoky bacon character coloring the rich, ripe crushed berry fruit. Hints of flowers and black cardamom add to the complexity. Full-bodied, with well-poised, velvety tannins that capture the flavors and drive them through the long finish.