Dal Forno Romano Monte Lodoletta Amarone della Valpolicella 2011 - 750ml

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97pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

This is a real bruiser of a wine, and it marks the first of three excellent back-to-back vintages (2011, 2012 and 2013). The growing season was full of surprises and many farming decisions had to be made at the spur of the moment. The 2011 growing season started off cool, but there was an explosion of heat in mid-August that remained intense until a final cooling period at harvest. Fruit ripening had been behind schedule, but that August heat helped to pick up the pace. (By the way, this is also the year Michele Dal Forno got married). The 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is an incredible wine that has magically managed to maintain the fresh acidity associated with the cooler part of the growing season. It also shows the inky black concentration and ripeness that is reflective of the hottest part of the summer. I am impressed by the tannic management, as the wine is silky and fine at this young stage; however, the underlying structure promises a long aging future, should you chose to put your bottle aside. Overall, this vintage is slightly more accessible and ready to drink if you don't have the patience for cellar aging.

95pts Wine Spectator

Sweet smoke, Asian five-spice powder and cacao accents mix with crème de cassis, cured tobacco and anise notes in this seamless, full-bodied red. A dense and concentrated version, with a long, savory finish firmed by supple, well-knit tannins. Drink now through 2030.

95pts James Suckling

Very dark fruits on the nose with hints of bark and dried flowers. Full body, soft and silky tannins with a chewy finish. Loads of dark chocolate and berry. Flavorful and balanced. Drink now.

93pts Wine & Spirits

Dal Forno’s 2011 Amarone is about as dense as a wine can get and still be called liquid. Its flavors combine like a meal in the glass, revealing savory notes of roasted beet, charred meat and hoisin along with espresso and baked plum. Powerful tannins close around the flavors like a vise, relenting after a few hours in the glass and allowing trickles of acidity to invigorate the dense flavors. Built for the long haul, this needs a decade in the cellar to reveal its layered complexity.

Winemaker Notes

The finest bunches of grapes are selected, after which a meticulous manual control is carried out to eliminate all grapes that do not meet the standards required. The selected grapes are then placed in plastic plateaux and are then left to rest for 90 days in large open rooms, where an innovative ventilation system helps maintain an elevated and thorough air flow.

Fermentation takes place in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of around 28°, which are equipped with a sophisticated computerized system which allows for automated punching for a period of around 15 days, including the final maceration which takes two days.

After decantation in the middle of January, the Amarone, which still contains some residual sugar, is placed into new barriques, where it begins a slow fermentation process which will last for a further 18 months. The total amount of time that it remains in the barriques is 24 months.

Blend: 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Croatina, 10% Oseleta