2014 was a challenging vintage and the Dal Forno family made the tough decision of not producing any Amarone in order to guarantee the highest level of quality. The ripening season started earlier compared to the five previous vintages, following a regular spring and a flowering at the end of May/early June. Unfortunately, a strong hail storm on June 24 hit most vineyards. The hail was concentrated 3-4ha in the northern part, sparing the vineyards on the hillside. From the end of June through mid-October, rain fell constantly and copiously. This weather created a situation where the grape skins were thinner than usual, making them fragile and not suitable for drying. By mid-August, Dal Forno decided to not produce any Amarone and concentrate all efforts to make the best possible Valpolicella.
Dal Forno produced 27,000 bottles of Valpolicella in 2014, 30% less than a regular vintage and no Amarone.
95 Wine & Spirits
“The 2014 growing season in Valpolicella was plagued by hail in June and copious rain through mid-October, leaving the grape skins fragile and, in the estimation of Romano Dal Forno, not suitable for making Amarone. Instead, he used all of the fruit he and his team could salvage to make this wine, selecting only the best bunches and drying them for 45 days. After fermentation, the wine rested in new oak barrels for two years and another three in bottle, developing a rich complexity that reads more like an Amarone than a typical Valpolicella. It unfolds with flavors of warmed cherry and dried plum layered with notes of espresso, dark chocolate and a savory hint of amaro. There’s a tart tinge to the fruit that enhances the wine’s drinkability and brightens those rich oak-derived flavors. Even with all of the estate’s fruit going into this Valpolicella, Dal Forno.” (February 2021)
95 James Suckling
“A beautiful, polished red with dried-berry, plum, floral and cedar aromas. Full body and a flavorful finish. Extremely refined and polished, more so than many past vintages. Already gorgeous, but needs a year or two to come together. Better after 2022.” (July 2020)."
94 Vinous - Eric Guido
"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...(2-