"Dal Forno's virtually perfect 1996 is undoubtedly the finest Amarone I have ever tasted. Its inky black/purple color is accompanied by extraordinarily pure, graphite-infused, blackberry, plum, mineral, licorice, and espresso flavors. Despite its monumental intensity and richness, this wine is not heavy, somehow managing to conceal its 17.5% alcohol! As compelling an Italian wine as I have ever tasted, it should prove to be unbelievably long-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030.
Regrettably, this wine is both hard to find and priced in the stratosphere. However, anyone who has tasted a Dal Forno offering realizes this is the reference point for prodigious Valpolicella and Amarone. It possesses off the chart levels of complexity, richness, aging potential, and reveals a style totally unlike anything else produced in the region. Decent quantities are exported, although most stays in Italy to be gobbled up by the local cognoscenti and the country's finest restaurants.