The 2011 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is a darkly concentrated but carefully balanced expression that only the most expert vintner can pull off with success. Consider that the dry extract is a massive 48 grams per liter. In fact, there is some minor precipitation of color matter even at this relatively young age. This wine was aged in new oak for two years (instead of the standard three years) with four years bottle (instead of three). That extra year in glass served to help the wine integrate and to reduce micro-oxygenation. The bouquet is bright and fragrant with floral notes of rose and violet that are rare to find in Valpolicella. There are faint tertiary notes as well that add to the complexity. You will find cured leather and savory spice. The finish offers enough acidity to refresh the palate, following that considerable density and thickness.
I enjoyed a very rewarding visit with the Dal Forno family in early Spring. The past decade has seen the refurbishing of the new winery and more construction to the monumental estate that sits just beyond tall gates in Cellore d'Illasi, Valpolicella. Romano Dal Forno is at work on his succession plan and the generational shift is clearly underway with more winemaking and marketing responsibilities now passed off to his sons. In addition to the wines reviewed here, I had the opportunity to preview taste the 2012 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta and the 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta. These are promising wines that will be scored towards the end of the year when they are ready for review. Romano Dal Forno did not make Amarone in 2014, although his Valpolicella Superiore was produced.