The magnum 1997 Recioto della Valpolicella is a tremendous wine that catapults you to a whole new level of intensity and is, honestly, unlike anything you will ever taste. It pours out of the bottle with inky, impenetrable blackness and the thick consistency of olive oil. Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes are harvested and air-dried for up to half a year, then aged carefully in 100% French oak. The bouquet opens in slow motion. Tones of chocolate, hickory smoke, prune, cinnamon cake, prune, black plum, root beer, crushed granite and licorice have the bright intensity of primary colors on a painters’ wheel. The mouthfeel is solid, thickly concentrated and delightfully sweet. The most magical aspect of the wine is how that sweetness hits your senses. It’s as if you don’t expect it: It creeps up on you suddenly. There is a tight tannic backbone that keeps the wine stitched firmly together. Almost indestructible, a wine like this will age longer than most. Drink 2015-2045. (ML)
Dinner comes to an end with Romano Dal Forno’s 1997 Recioto. Pure nectar in the glass, the 1997 is a rare treat to taste, as the master of Illasi bottles this wine with notable infrequency. We polish off two bottles, both of which are superb. (AG)
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