Tonight (August 23 2012) we drank a bottle of Barbaresco “Vigneto Loreto” 1997 from De Forville. This estate, with which we have been working for the past 33 years, has always flown a bit under the radar … in a commercial sense. Perhaps this is because the Anfosso family, the owners of De Forville, are private people, proud but modest. The family residence and the cantina is just up the road from Gaja in the heart of the village of Barbaresco … another reason perhaps for being overlooked … resting in the shadow of the public relations juggernaut that is Gaja.
The Barbarescos of De Forville are built using the most traditional of techniques: long maceration and cuvaison and extended aging in large, old barrels. The wines produced are, from Dolcetto through Barbera to Nebbiolo, often somber and always serious. The wine of the moment, the ’97 Barbaresco from the Loreto vineyard within the boundaries of the village of Barbaresco, offers vivid proof of the grandeur of this appellation, particularly when the wine has been vinified without pomp and circumstance. This wine, at 15 years of age, is sublime, a regal wine of breed and consequence, displaying the elegance combined with power that graces the best wines of this appellation.
Once again, this traditional wine makes the case for the benefits of proper aging as well as for the argument that all the modern adaptations, whether it be of materials or oenological “tricks”, can never best a wine made in the classic manner from vineyards situated in the best sectors of the appellation.
Neal I. Rosenthal, August 23, 2012