Piedmont Week - Thursday - De Forville and Barale

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A few weeks ago we had a wonderful dinner at Franny’s, the excuse being a chance to taste a number of vintages of De Forville Barbaresco. Prior to dinner, the oldest De Forville I’d tasted was about 14 years old (the excellent 1995), so I really didn’t know what to expect. All of the wines we had at dinner are included in this offer, and they showed beautifully – it was a great performance, and a nice confirmation that the wines were always very well made.

 

 

In the past we had a similar experience with Barale. We are great fans of their recent vintages (in fact they are going from strength-to-strength, with each new vintage surpassing the last) and it’s been very satisfying to discover just how good the old wines are. As with most of our favorites, Barale has never strayed from resolutely traditional winemaking. The fruit for these older bottles came from Castellero and from Bussia, and (as nowadays) the Barales produced an elegant, refined wine that reflected the vintage and the terroir. When in Italy we often hear the expression, “vino da meditazione”, usually in reference to something Port-like (and not much to our taste); in any case I believe you can translate ‘vino da meditazione’ to mean ‘a wine to sip’ (and therefore not to gulp), but also more literally as wine that might inspire a meditative state of mind, to drink with some mindfulness. This makes sense in reference to Barale; their wine reminds us of old Cappellano – not blockbusters, serious in nature, vino da meditazione. Jamie Wolff

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