Dal Forno: 4-20-24

On Sale Now
Go bold.

In a few wine regions throughout the world, there exists one individual or family that defines the style of the region. When it comes to Valpolicella, the Dal Forno family does just that, crafting deeply concentrated expressions for over thirty years.
Established in 1983 by Romano Dal Forno, the estate vaulted to the heights of perfection in the Venato. The family employs traditional winemaking techniques, such as extended drying of the grapes before pressing, to craft their serious and seriously concentrated wines.
Vines hail from the foothills at around 1,000 feet above sea level. Here, the family’s 65 acres are planted to indigenous varieties such as Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella, grown and pruned according to ancient traditions.
So, what’s a wine lover to do? Our suggestion: embrace the concentration and richness inherent in Venato wines. For no one matches the sheer hedonistic bombast of Dal Forno. Quintarelli? Bah, that speaks to finesse. Nor should you be satisfied by the mere saccharine fruit bombs that paw anxiously at your palate. Crave impact. EXPERIENCE power. Seek wines that whisper of the Old and Ancient mysteries of this world. Demand Dal Forno.
“The Dal Forno production is always an artful expression, as these are wines that can be made in no other hands. This is because of the unique qualities of the Lodoletta Vineyard, which has alluvial clay soils, and the proprietary technology used during fermentation and winemaking.” -Monica Larner, Wine Advocate
“Romano Dal Forno took control of his family’s 25ha in 1980, aged 22, quickly turning to Amarone maestro Giuseppe Quintarelli for advice and tutorship. Dal Forno focussed on a dramatic reduction of yields, replacing the oxidation-prone Molinara grape with the rare Oseleta, and set about introducing a system of manual sorting to remove less than perfect grapes. It takes nine vines to create one bottle of Dal Forno’s Amarone, with a drying period of three months leading to 15 days of fermentation in temperature-controlled steel tanks. Ageing takes place in new oak for 36 months, followed by another 24 months in bottle.” -Decanter Magazine
5% off any 3-5 in-stock bottles of Dal Forno
10% off any 6 or more in-stock bottles of Dal Forno

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Sale ends Tuesday, April 23rd at 9 am Pacific.
We offer eight options from Dal Forno on sale now, including:
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2007 750ml Displayed Price: $179, that’s $170.05 at 5% off and $161.10 at 10% off, 2 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2007 Valpolicella Superiore from the celebrated Monte Lodoletta vineyard is rock-tight with a midnight black appearance and aromas that emerge with fierce determination. The fascinating aromatic medley includes dark spice, prune, Spanish cedar, tar, black licorice, balsam herb and blackberry tart. The mouthfeel is plush and rich with super-tight tannins that grip nervously to the finish. It has only started its bottle evolution and requires more time to soften and develop. Drink 2017-2035.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Romano Dal Forno applies the same stringent quality standards on his so-called base wine as he does his top-tier Amarone. But referring to this Valpolicella Superiore as a “base wine” couldn’t be more incorrect. In fact, this singular expression occupies its very own category in which the utmost attention is paid to the smallest details. It opens with dark, inky concentration and amazing intensity, with black cherry, barbecue spice, leather and tobacco.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2008 750ml Displayed Price: $169, that’s $160.55 at 5% off and $152.10 at 10% off, 4 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94 points
“A dark, super-ripe wine, the 2008 Valpolicella Superiore is fabulous in this vintage. Smoke, tar, incense, licorice and blackberry jam hit the palate in a massive, intense Valpolicella loaded with class and personality. Even with all of the concentration, the 2008 is quite a bit less tannic than some recent vintages have been, which makes it accessible even today, especially if given a little air. There is a lot to admire in this drop-dead gorgeous Valpolicella from Romano Dal Forno.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2008 Valpolicella Superiore hails from the famed Monte Lodoletta cru and immediately struts its stuff: It opens to huge intensity, an inky appearance and tight tannic astringency. Great care is taken to transform each berry of fruit into this dense, syrupy wine that is redolent of bitter chocolate, dried fruit, blackberry preserves, baking spice and toasted herbs. The oak tannins dry every last drop of moisture from your mouth. The blend is 70% Covina and Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Oseleta and 5% Croatina aged 36 months in barrique. This wine has a long, long way to go. Don’t even think of popping the cork for five years or more. Drink 2018-2035.”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2009 750ml Displayed Price: $135, that’s $128.25 at 5% off and $121.50 at 10% off, 10 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“Built like a tank, the 2009 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is a masterful achievement. This wine shows so beautifully, especially in a warm but balanced vintage like 2009. The fruit is expressive and articulate with deep layers of blackberry preserves, dried cherry, dark chocolate, espresso bean, mesquite smoke and soy sauce. The mouthfeel is super rich and concentrated as the Dal Forno signature style would dictate. The tannic bite is still strong and this wine needs a few more years to stretch out its muscular build. I’d suggest drinking it after 2018.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2016 750ml Displayed Price: $119, that’s $113.05 at 5% off and $107.10 at 10% off, 8 bottles in stock now
Eric Guido-Vinous 95 points
“The 2016 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is intense, with a captivating bouquet that blends cedar shavings, savory herbs and balsamic spices with rum-soaked cherries, sweet lavender and dark chocolate. This sweeps across the palate with silken textures, delivering masses of tart red and black fruits along with hints of espresso bean. Crunchy mineral tones and zesty acidity add dramatic lift. The 2016 tapers off long and staining, sporting a pleasantly bitter tinge of cocoa as grippy tannins resonate. The 2016 is a well-muscled dancer yet still youthfully coiled.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “…a wine of characteristically dark intensity and rich extraction. If there’s one thing this estate knows, it’s making big wines with soaring intensity that strike a balance and have complexity all the while… This classic vintage reveals black fruit, olive, dark tar, mahogany and sweet barbecue spice. The wine is soft and rich in terms of texture with tight tannins, but it finishes relatively dry with a contained 14% alcohol content. The blend is 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta, aged in new French and American barrels for 24 months.”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore 2017 750ml Displayed Price: $138, that’s $131.10 at 5% off and $124.20 at 10% off, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“Pungent nose of violets, amarena cherries, dried figs and lightly charred oak. Some toffee notes emerge with air, together with more pressed flowers. Not so much full-bodied as full-flavored, with silky, fine and polished tannins. Very young and driven at the moment. Lacks the depth and complexity of more fortunate vintages, but still shows exceptional quality. Try from 2024.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 95 points “Taking in the 2017 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta reminds me of all of the desserts spices and confections experienced on Christmas day. An array of medicinal cherries plum sauce ginger cookies cloves cinnamon and dried roses captivate. There’s tremendous depth here but it maintains fantastic freshness. This is wildly spicy and intense yet deep with brilliant acidity adding energy seldom found in Valpolicella which enlivens the crunchy red fruits and pretty inner florals within. The 2017 finishes dramatically long and perfumed resonating on sour blackberries currants and a bitter hint of cocoa. This goes far beyond the expectation of Valpolicella with the power and aromatics of an Amarone but with a liveliness that will allow it to excel at the dinner table.”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2012 750ml Displayed Price: $379, that’s $360.05 at 5% off and $341.10 at 10% off, 13 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“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.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “…a beautifully complete wine, even at this young stage in its life. You feel the youth of the wine in the tightness of the tannins and in the finely knit texture of its concentrated flavor profile. The big surprise is the wine’s fresh acidity that has been carefully safeguarded despite the heat of the vintage and the drying process so deftly executed at this landmark estate. The wine shows no sign of oxidation or evolution, not yet. There is intricate fruit layering with cherry, blackberry, spice and mesquite delivered with such precision, that level of detail defies the very bold and opulent essence of the wine. It has only just started its evolutionary journey.”
Decanter 96 points “Exuberant, dense and chewy with peppery black fruit flavours, while showing some delicacy of aroma. Intense and will develop further, perhaps offering more power than grace…”
Eric Guido-Vinous 96 points “There is a massive amount of pleasure to be found in [here]. It blends elegance with power while contrasting rich dark fruits against sweet herbal tones and spices to create a seductive expression from start to finish… All of that said, the endnote here is remarkably fresh, as the 2012 never becomes tiring. This is firing on all cylinders yet with medium-term cellaring potential – but good luck keeping your hands off of it today.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A velvety, full-bodied version, loaded with blackberry coulis, baked black cherry and tar-tinged smoke flavors that ripple across the palate. Offers lovely accents of dried mint, tobacco, iron and anise that echo on the firm finish. A powerhouse, with plenty in reserve. Best from 2022 through 2032. 250 cases imported. — AN”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2015 750ml Displayed Price: $399, that’s $379.05 at 5% off and $359.10 at 10% off, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“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.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 points “The ultimate statement wine from northern Italy… Monte Lodoletta is always incredibly high in terms of fruit weight and tannins, but this edition from 2015 appears more integrated in terms of concentration and softer in terms of structure; it’s not that the wine is more accessible. It will hold the line for years and decades to come and promises to age gracefully. This vintage is instead more fleshed out and open-knit. The bouquet peels back with thick layers of black fruit, spice, campfire embers and toasted coffee bean. It’s an expensive bottle for collectors, but you get lots of bang for your buck.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “A rich red, with good tension and energy, displaying tightly meshed flavors of blackberry preserves, fig cake, espresso crema and singed sage coiled around a core of dense but fine tannins. Tea leaf, smoky earth and mineral notes chime on the long and chewy finish. Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina. Best from 2025 through 2045. 1,350 cases made, 250 cases imported. — AN”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2017 750ml Displayed Price: $449, that’s $426.55 at 5% off and $404.10 at 10% off, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“The current release. A tour de force, despite the sheer morass of palate-staining fruit. The malty oak is evident, yet operates as a welcome adjunct to corral and compress the swashbuckle of coffee grinds, beef bouillon, mint, leather varnish and saturated dark cherry liqueur, into a sheath of tension as much as sheer power. Grapes are dried for 70-80 days. This may seem obvious initially, but as one works it out in the glass and across the inner gums, the multitudinous layers become evident. A wine that shape-shifts and beguiles, as much it wrestles with the senses. Excellent. Drink or hold.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 97 points “This is dark, sultry and almost animalistic in nature, as crushed fall leaves and earth tones open the experience, giving way to masses of macerated black cherries, cedar shavings, spiced cookies, and a lifting hint of camphor. It floods the palate with velvety textures while maintaining fantastic energy, as stimulating acidity adds unexpected vibrancy, and tart wild berries slowly saturate. While structured, the tannins are sweet, and the wine remains remarkably fresh, almost crunchy, as an air of inner rose and balsam herbs slowly fades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A dark, brooding red that effortlessly marries a lovely range of kirsch, blackberry paste, dried mint and eucalyptus flavors with fine, sculpted tannins and a rich streak of minerality, showing lots of smoke, fresh earth and iron. This offers concentration and power, revealing even greater detail and expression as it opens in the glass, but at the same time this is an exercise in balance and restraint. Corvina, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina. Drink now through 2035.”

Don’t miss our additional sale going on now:
5% off any 3-8 in-stock bottles of Bedrock
10% off any 9 or more in-stock bottles of Bedrock

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We will adjust your invoice before processing your charge.

Bedrock sale ends Sunday, April 21st at 9 am Pacific.