“What Was That” – One of the World’s Most Distinctive Wines – The Amarone and Valpolicella of Dal Forno. The Inside Tip Is the Single Vineyard TRUE "Baby Amarone" from the Grape King!

“Anyone who has tasted a Dal Forno offering realizes this is the reference point for prodigious Valpolicella and Amarone. It possesses off the chart levels of complexity, richness, aging potential, and reveals a style totally unlike anything else produced in the region. Decent quantities are exported, although most stays in Italy to be gobbled up by the local cognoscenti and the country's finest restaurants.” -Robert Parker

There are simply few expressions that can match the tasting of an Amarone della Valpolicella from the great Veneto winemakers of Quintarelli or Dal Forno for the first time. In fact, it is fair to say in the world of wine, few wine(s) can deliver such an “A-ha” or “What was that!” moment, like the singular and emotional wines of these two producers. These are not wines of finesse, they are explosive and among the richest, most decadent wines of the Boot, landing somewhere between a cult Napa Cabernet and a Port - yet remaining distinctly Italian. But there is also an inside tip and that is the limited production 2013 and 2014 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore. This is serious juice from the master, and today we are offering this unique in-stock gem with exceptional pricing, alongside a rare library collection that has arrived directly from the Veneto!

Romano Dal Forno is the “Grape King” of the Veneto and is widely recognized as the producer who has mastered a level of unparalleled quality in crafting the difficult passito wine Amarone. But unlike the late, great Quintarelli who crafted rustic, traditional wines, Dal Forno creates modern, hedonistic drinks that have single-handedly elevated the stature of quality Amarone. Dal Forno’s Amarone and Valpolicella are a unique product. All of the elements of the wine—its depth, character, acidity, richness—hit your senses in concert. For this reason, it consistently garners rave reviews and shows up at the most prestigious tastings around the world.

As for our insider tip, the 2013 and 2014 Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore, this is a baby Amarone from one of its most defining producers. It is important to note that when purchasing the Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta from Dal Forno, you are selecting a cru Amarone at a fraction of the price, as the flagship wine can command more than $300-400 a bottle. As Antonio Galloni puts it, “the Valpolicella is made from 100% dried fruit, which makes it more of a second wine of the flagship Amarone than a true Valpolicella.” What makes Dal Forno unique in this category is that his Valpolicella is produced in the same method of his Amarone. And while we are highlighting the 2013 at some of the best pricing in the country, enthusiasts should take note of the equally compelling 2014 - as no Amarone was produced by the Grape King and all the best fruit went into the Valpolicella Superiore for a special bottling.

LIBRARY COLLECTION: The Baby Amarone from the "Grape King" and More

*Note: Wines just arrived into New York and can ship at the end of January.

In addition, we have listed the wines that are available from the library collection and they include the 2004 Limited Edition, 30th Anniversary Magnum Collector Case! It includes a rare magnum each of the Amarone, Valpolicella and Vigna Serre. Antonio Galloni called the 2004 Amarone “…one of the most monumental young wines I have ever tasted,” pretty powerful words, that capture the importance of the vintage and the release from Dal Forno. There are only a few in the world that exist, and they will undoubtedly appreciate. It should be noted that some of the most difficult wines in the world to find are back vintage Dal Forno Magnums. Should you be interested or have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “The true differences between the Valpolicella and the Amarone lie in the vine age (younger vines less than 10 years old are used for the Valpolicella) and the drying time (one month for the Valpolicella versus three months for the Amarone). In addition, the grapes are sourced from "Monte Lodoletta," one of the few Grand Cru-like vineyards of Valpolicella. It should be noted that much Valpolicella Superiore is produced through the ripasso method, in which the winemaker "pass" the Valpolicella through the dried skins of the Amarone. As a result of the unique Dal Forno approach in this classification, the Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta should not be taken lightly in comparison to its peers – it is, by all means, an Amarone delivered with value and approachability by its master. The 2013 is a massive Valpolicella but with eight years of age is offering some approachability and elegance. What we appreciate about the 2013 is that it is from a cooler vintage than the 2011 and 2012. As a result there is more restraint and complexity. You can expect gobs of macerated cherries, dried plum, dark chocolate, espresso, a touch of leather, eucalyptus, and minerality. It is certainly a Valpolicella that can age further than many Amarone – but why wait”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “This is a terrific wine that stood out—and stood tall—despite the fact that it was tasted alongside some of Dal Forno's most important vintages of the top-shelf Amarone. If that's not a full-on recommendation, I don't know what is. The 2013 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta oozes forth with thick concentration and an inky black color. The mouthfeel is thick and impenetrable, and the senses are treated to a long succession of black fruit, tar, spice, smoke, mesquite and barbecue flavors. The wine is full-bodied and very opulent, but it carries that massive intensity with grace and precision. This Valpolicella Superiore is very nicely done.”

98 Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is my favorite wine in the retrospective, along with the amazing 2011, 2009 and 1996 vintages. This wine was released at the beginning of this year, and because Dal Forno skipped over the 2014 vintage, this is the only Amarone we will see for a while (until the highly anticipated 2015 is released). The 2013 vintage is characterized by a slightly more streamlined mouthfeel (which isn't saying much given the baseline enormity of these wines) with carefully etched aromas of black cherry, rum cake, dark chocolate and toasted espresso. The 2013 vintage was balanced overall without the sudden heat waves we saw in the summers of 2011 and 2012. The grapes finished a slow and steady ripening process over an extended growing season. The effect is graceful and focused. Put this bottle aside in your cellar for the decades to come.”

This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer (that is only available until 11:59pm, Tuesday, January 19th, 2021), we are asking that you email orders back to chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation. IWM is not responsible for typographical errors.

All my best,


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