Full-Throttle Majesty in the Veneto
2004 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore
EXTREME pricing on EXTREME wine
Dal Forno, 20% off.
"Dal Forno" and "20% off" are not words you will often see together.
As it is, the unctuous, hyper-saturating reds of Romano Dal Forno are among the most sought out wines from the Veneto. Really, at the pinnacle of this region, there are only two: Dal Forno as the young, innovative genius and Giuseppe Quintarelli, who holds court as the storied legend.Today the focus is on the younger of the two masters. While the quality is equal among the two, the style of Dal Forno is more powerful, more relentless.
Dal Forno's Valpolicellas are brazen, unapologetic; they are super-concentrated, powerful reds that blanket the palate, a complex surge of fruit with all the momentum of a tidal wave. In fact, since 2002 Dal Forno has used 100% dried grapes even for the "regular" Valpolicella, though "regular" is hardly the word to use here.
The 2004 Dal Forno Valpo is nothing short of an avalanche of dark fruit, textured and palate-staining,edged by dried spices and a thin but detailed line of mineral. This intensity of fruit also creates an incredible perfume and impressive inner-mouth aromatics that add yet another layer to the experience - what Antonio Galloni calls “the wine’s inner sweetness.” (Full note below.)
Dal Forno's Valpolicella, especially when it includes the dried grapes more associated with Amarone, presents one of the most intense and deep experiences of fruit and spice available in the world of fine wine.
The wine's intensity is, logically, a reflection of Romano's intense vineyard practices. 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). The theory is that increased vine density generates more concentrated, ripe fruit as the plants vie for nutrients and sunshine.
Rigor in the vineyard continues in the cellar: In 1990, Romano Dal Forno built a new winemaking facility decked out with his self-designed equipment whose purpose is to help develop the ripest, purest, cleanest fruit possible. His efforts have generated undeniable results - since the 1990 vintage these wines have been, very reliably, among the best in all of Italy.
As for a drinking window, Galloni properly cautions, “Readers in search of short-term gratification are advised to open these bottles at least eight to ten hours before serving.” We strongly encourage you to heed this advice, but note that the wild, black and blue fruit certainly opens ebulliently, gorgeously, once given a chance. Better yet, a solid few years to a decade of age will only help this bottle shine with its full, prodigious potential.
This is a wine with a long future ahead of it; today's parcel, on the other hand - especially at as low as 15% off the lowest price anywhere else in the nation - does not have a long future ahead of it.
To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate: "Sweet, open aromatics lead to hints of dark blueberries, blackberries, spices and minerals as the 2004 Valpolicella Superiore gradually opens in the glass. Today the wine comes across as shut down, but the imposing tannins are also rather fine, suggesting that with time the wine’s inner sweetness will gradually emerge. Readers who want to try their luck with this wine earlier should open the bottle a good eight hours or so prior to drinking it."