GRAPE VARIETIES: 70% Corvina and Corvina grossa, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta.
VINTAGE REPORT: 2013 began with a cold and quite rainy winter. Heavy rainfalls continued through mid-June. Bud breakage began on April 20, with flowering taking place the end of May. The season proceeded quite regularly, without major events and most importantly without any stress for the vines. There was no hail the entire year, which is uncommon for the region. The temperature remained high through mid-August, eventually tapering off to a range for better maturation without reducing acidity on the grapes. Harvest started the second week of September. Prime weather conditions during this period allowed for the grapes to be carefully picked. It is for these reasons we can say 2013 is an excellent vintage in the Valpolicella.
From September 10 to October 22, 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 a plastic plateaux and are then left to rest for three months in large open rooms, where an innovative ventilation system helps maintain an elevated and thorough air flow.
FERMENTATION: Fermentation takes place in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of around 28°C, 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.
AGING: After decantation in the middle of January, the Amarone, which still contains some residual sugar, is placed into new barrels, 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 barrels is 24 months, followed by 36 months in bottle.
The 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is my favorite wine in the retrospective, along with the amazing 2011, 2009 and 1996 vintages. This wine was released at the beginning of this year, and because Dal Forno skipped over the 2014 vintage, this is the only Amarone we will see for a while (until the highly anticipated 2015 is released). The 2013 vintage is characterized by a slightly more streamlined mouthfeel (which isn't saying much given the baseline enormity of these wines) with carefully etched aromas of black cherry, rum cake, dark chocolate and toasted espresso. Monica Larner, September 19, 2019.