Romano Dal Forno

About Romano Dal Forno

Romano Dal Forno may well be the single hardest-working vigneron in Italy. It is certainly an accolade bestowed upon him by fellow winemakers in the fabulous region of Veneto, from which the imperious Dal Forno produces a range of simply transcendent expressions of the Corvina and Rondinella varietals. A peer in the region once said of Dal Forno; “the rest of us take vacations...but not Dal Forno. He works every day. He not only knows every bunch in his vineyard...he knows every grape!” - a remarkable testament to the man’s dedication to his terroir and sensational wines, which sees him produce wines worthy of a place in the very finest cellars of the most discerning collectors.

 

Establishing his eponymous estate as (relatively) recently as the 1980s, Romano Dal Forno rapidly elevated his small eight-hectare holding to the very forefront of the revitalised wave of exciting winemaking in Veneto. Found in Illasi, technically outside the so-called “Zona Classico” of Valpolicella, this avant-garde producer has established a zealous following amongst the Italian cognoscere for, in particular, his breath-taking Amarone.

 

Viniculture

The speciality of Dal Forno, Amarone is the stuff of dreams for those who love powerful and structured wines of staggering concentration. An extreme labour of love, Dal Forno strictly selects only the very best Corvina grapes to be air-dried on racks for at least three months, and water content is drastically reduced before vinification thus concentrating sugars, tannins and intensity of flavour. This process of drying is within Dal Forno’s control and produces a red wine of unrivalled richness, not sweetness. Upon completion of the air-drying, the wine undergoes initial fermentation in stainless steel followed by secondary, slower fermentation in an oak barrel which may last up to 18 months before bottling. Time-consuming and painfully expensive to vinify, one can begin to see why such monumental wine requires Dal Forno’s Spartan work-ethic.

 

A step below the full Amarone is the unique Valpolicella. Naturally, every Amarone producer also crafts a Valpolicella – Dal Forno is not every Amarone producer. This style of wine from the leading estate is air-dried for some 45 days. The same liquid in any other Veneto bottle would be labelled Amarone, but not here...Romano Dal Forno demands the best for every single cuvée that bears his family name.

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10 Products

Year Wine Region Format Qty Score Price Wishlist
Dal Forno Romano NV Assortment Case NV (3x75cl)
HK$10,825.00
NV

Dal Forno Romano NV Assortment Case NV (3x75cl)
Historical Case. Contains 2x2008 & 1x2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta 75cl bottles. Photo attached. Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
3-4 months

Veneto 3x75cl 4 - HK$10,825.00
Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 (6x75cl)
HK$11,905.00
2011

Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 (6x75cl)

Decanter (99)

The blend for this wine, whose fruit is dried for three months, is 55 per cent Corvina, 15 per cent Rondinella, 20 per cent Croatina and 10 per cent Oseleta; all the vines are at least 10 years old. A black wine, and a velvet nosebox: pressed black fruits, seeping with fruit essences; smoke and cinders; herbal complexities; teasing floral notes, too, to lighten the tone a little. The alcohol level on the label might lead you to expect a gobstopper – so you’ll be taken aback by the fine-milled elegance of this wine, by its disposition and organization, by its fleet-footed elegance and freshness, even though its concentration, power and textural presence make it a wine of absolute authority. There isn’t a trace of superfluous fat in the mid-palate – though it’s tongue-coating, head-turning, inspiring: a gathering of sumptuous fruited energies. “It’s very difficult to for my father to feel happy about any of his wines; he’s very critical,” said Michele. “But with this vintage, he didn’t have anything to say.”
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
3-4 months

Veneto 6x75cl 3 99 (DC) Read Review/Description HK$11,905.00
Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 (6x75cl)
HK$12,530.00
2012

Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 (6x75cl)

James Suckling (97)

A decadent nose of treacle tart, chocolate, tar, tons of black fruit such as blackberries and mulberries and even ash and licorice. A dense, layered mouthfeel makes for a full-bodied palate that's explosive yet somehow so refined and pretty all at the same time. The finish goes on and on. Incredible now, but better to wait for this giant to settle well into 2020.
In Stock in United Kingdom

Veneto 6x75cl 1 97 (JS) Read Review/Description HK$12,530.00
Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2013 (6x75cl)
HK$13,035.00
2013

Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2013 (6x75cl)

Wine Advocate (98)

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.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
3-4 months

Veneto 6x75cl 1 98 (WA) Read Review/Description HK$13,035.00
Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2015 (6x75cl)
HK$13,600.00
2015

Romano Dal Forno Amarone della Valpolicella 2015 (6x75cl)

James Suckling (100)

This is black as pitch in the glass and, yes, there’s a light, tarry edge to the super-concentrated prune, date and currant fruit. But even more interesting are the complex notes of bitter-orange liqueur, aged balsamic, fresh roasting herbs, cinnamon, roasted chestnuts, black tea and licorice. The more you decant in advance, the more nuances will emerge. It’s full-boded with huge concentration and lots of chewy tannin that is managing to hold the fruit back for now. This needs plenty of time to develop in the bottle. Just superb. One of the greatest Dal Forno’s ever.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
7-9 months

Veneto 6x75cl 1 100 (JS) Read Review/Description HK$13,600.00
Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2010 (6x75cl)
HK$5,850.00
2010

Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2010 (6x75cl)

Wine Advocate (95)

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.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
3-4 months

Veneto 6x75cl 1 95 (WA) Read Review/Description HK$5,850.00
Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2011 (6x75cl)
HK$4,565.00
2011

Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2011 (6x75cl)

James Suckling (94)

A powerful and dense red with so much concentration of fruit and chocolate undertones. Hints of toasted oak. Full body and a velvety texture. Fantastic and dense red as usual. Drink now.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
3-4 months

Veneto 6x75cl 1 94 (JS) Read Review/Description HK$4,565.00
Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2013 (6x75cl)
HK$4,635.00
2013

Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2013 (6x75cl)

Decanter (97)

From one of the most iconic wineries in the Orientale, this is aged for two years in oak and a further three in bottle. A proper meditation wine, great with game, strong cheeses or a cigar. It has a huge nose of stewed red fruits, ethereal bramble forest fruits and blackberry jam. Generous, with spicy, bitter cherry-stone freshness. Full-bodied with a rich, intense, spicy undertone.
In Stock in United Kingdom

Veneto 6x75cl 1 97 (DC) Read Review/Description HK$4,635.00
Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2014 (6x75cl)
HK$4,938.00
2014

Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2014 (6x75cl)

Vinous (94)

The 2014 is a unique rendition of Dal Forno’s Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta. It's a remarkably pretty wine, displaying crushed ripe strawberries and plums with cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean and a cooling hint of mint. The textures are velvety, coating all that they touch in glycerol fruit concentration, yet somehow coming across as zesty and spry, contrasting weight with saturating notes of tart blackberry and savory spice. There’s a bit of a lull in the midpalate, yet it hardly takes away from the experience. At times, the Monte Lodoletta can seem almost salty, especially through its long, mouthwatering finish, where hints of cherry pits and herbs linger. This atypical yet truly enjoyable expression is the result of the extremely difficult 2014 vintage, when hail damaged and reduced the crop in the lower-elevation vineyards, followed by rain from August through September. As a result, Dal Forno decided not to produce their Amarone, and to instead focus all of their attention on the Valpolicella. The result is a wine that no Dal Forno fan should miss, but be aware that production was down 30% from an average year.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
12-14 weeks

Veneto 6x75cl 1 94 (VN) Read Review/Description HK$4,938.00
Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2015 (6x75cl)
HK$4,800.00
2015

Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto Monte Lodoletta 2015 (6x75cl)

James Suckling (96)

Such a profound nose of fresh and dried fruit with blackcurrants, dates and prunes, together with lighter notes of mild spice and pomegranate seeds. The fresher elements provide the drive on the full palate and, together with very fine, bright, fine-grained tannins, give a long, chewy yet fresh and pruney finish. Hugely concentrated, but the balance and poise is impeccable. There’s no denying the classic quality of this. Delicious to taste now, but this needs a few years to integrate. Try from 2025.
Estimated Arrival to United Kingdom:
7-9 months

Veneto 6x75cl 1 96 (JS) Read Review/Description HK$4,800.00

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10 Products

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