Romano Dal Forno 2012 – New Release from the “Grape King” of Valpolicella

“The wines of Romano Dal Forno prove to be impossible to duplicate. They show such a high degree of individual personality that they occupy their own school of stylistic expression.”

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

Romano Dal Forno are a bastion of the Veneto, producing “otherworldly” Amarone and Valpolicella according to the Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner. Romano, the founder and owner, is known as the ‘Grape King’ in Italy, and vies with the legendary Quintarelli as the champion of this hedonistic, luxurious style of wine. A policy of low yields and an uncompromising drive for quality and selectivity, as well the use of unusual grapes to back up the traditional Corvina has established the Dal Forno family among the finest winemakers in all of Italy. 

Dal Forno spare no expense in producing their wines. Yields are inherently low due to the age of the vines, and these are further reduced with four different levels of selection throughout the year. Dal Forno then dry their grapes, a process key to produce Amarone, in a method unique to them. This includes huge allow-moving fans which change direction every five minutes to make best use of the natural wind – during this period the grapes lose up to 50% of their mass. The Amarone is aged a minimum of six years, including 2 years in oak. Only 100% new oak barriques are used, which are bought fresh every year, creating a supremely unctuous, voluptuous wine. Finally the wine is blended and bottled under vacuum to preserve its exceptional purity and power.

The Valpolicella Superiore is produced in almost exactly the same way and could technically be labelled as an Amarone as it has been made with 100% dried grapes since 2002. However as it is produced from younger vines as is made to be drunk earlier, Dal Forno declassify it and as such it offers superb value. Romano Dal Forno was founded in 1983 after Romano had studied Amarone under the world-famous master Quintarelli. He quickly learned the key importance of the drying process, which lead Romano to develop an unique systems of aeration in his newly built cellar. This ground-breaking innovation is a key factor in the inner balance of his wines. Only the family are allowed to participate in the winemaking, ensuring a continuity of style and complete dedication to quality.

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