05 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore - Amarone In All But Name

Posted by Ian McFadden

Amarone in all but Name
2005 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore
Lowest Price in the Nation

"Dal Forno should really change the name of his 2005 Valpolicella Superiore. It is really an Amarone for all practical intents and purposes." -Antonio Galloni

Dal Forno's wines occupy a special place. With Conterno's Monfortino, Rousseau's Chambertin, Egon Muller's Scharzhofbeger, Dal Forno's reds exist in the realm of the chosen few.

These are benchmark wines - they define their categories.

Yet in 2005, by most accounts, Dal Forno has redefined what Valpolicella can achieve. This is a monumental vintage for this wine.

Savvy collectors will have no doubt noted Antonio Galloni's recent review of the 05 Dal Forno Valpolicella, which gave it the best review that a Valpolicella has ever received.

With this review, the reputation of Dal Forno and a price tag that clocks in below all other pricing in the U.S. - we expect demand to be high.

It's worth pausing on the price for a moment. While most wine prices have been moving decidedly upward, we're able to offer Dal Forno's 2005 Valpolicella Superiore for less than we've offered previous vintages. The fact that 2005 is an epic vintage for the wine only sweetens the deal.

Continuing a practice that Dal Forno started in 2002, all the grapes, even for the Valpolicella, are dried Amarone-style. All that prevents this Valpolicella from being an Amarone is the amount of time that the grapes were dried. That and the cost - current vintage Dal Forno Amarone costs $350-400 and up.

Dal Forno's wines are über-concentrated and unbelievably dense; there is simply no other wine being made that is like these wines.

2005 Valpolicella is a powerhouse of a red. It offers a surging rush of sappy fruit, leather and earth all framed by a massively firm tannic structure. Yet, for all of its richness and monumental scale, the wine maintains an energy and clarity that's startling, and reminds you that a master is at work.

Dal Forno is one of the most maniacally conscientious winemakers that we know of. Case in point: Since taking over from his grandfather in 1983, he has outrageously increased vineyard density, which is now edging towards 13,000 vines per hectare (8,000 per hectare is typically considered severe.) In the cellar, he's similarly uncompromising - he's obsessed with cleanliness and only accepts pristine fruit.

With winter around the corner, and a lifespan that should span a decade and longer, don't be shy. As is usually the case with a producer this famous, a wine this great, quantities are limited.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits