In 1979, Neal Rosenthal, a curious and intrepid American in the wine business, stumbled upon the Anfosso family in Barbaresco. This was a well-rooted family, farmers and grape-growers for many generations. The DeForville family made its way to Piedmont from Belgium in 1848 and established themselves in the village of Barbaresco in 1860. Here, the family was instantly engaged in growing Nebbiolo under the direction of patriarch Gioachino De Forville. He was succeeded by his son, Vincenzo, followed by Vincenzo's nephew, Paolo and then, the fourth generation is represented by Paolo's daughter, Mafalda and her husband, Bruno Anfosso. Now, the fifth generation is in place: Valter and Paolo Anfosso, the two sons of Bruno and Mafalda. The first vintage imported into the USA was 1978, and thanks to Neal Rosenthal, every vintage since has made its way to our shores.
The winery itself is one of only two wineries inside the village of Barbaresco, its driveway just next to that of the one and only Angelo Gaja.
A visit to the winery today will reveal that not much has changed. Valter and Paolo still do 90% of the work by themselves, aided by Paolo's wife, son, daughter and Mafalda, the matriarch of the family who keeps everyone well-fed with pasta and braised wild boar. To see the relationship and the love between this family and the Rosenthal family is truly something to behold. These people have worked side by side for over 40 vintages. However at the root this is more than a simple transaction. There have been marriages and births, and unfortunately also deaths. Each passing year and milestone life-event has been shared by everyone involved, and the common history between them is clear. DeForville is a truly artisanal family estate who we are proud to represent.
Barbera d'Asti Cascina Buc: This Barbera is from the "Ca del Buc" family "cru" in Castagnole Lanze. The vines are relatively young (15 years as of 2011) but the wine is already quite concentrated and full of character. A touch more racy with notes of game, this Barbera speaks of its origins in the Asti district as opposed to the more somber and elegant wines from the Alba zone. As with the Barbera d'Alba, this Barbera d'Asti is fermented in stainless steel for 10 days to two weeks and is racked into oak barrels and "botti" for 12 months before bottling. Neal Rosenthal notes, it is delicious served, "lightly chilled to offset the lingering heat of the day." This is a thirst-quenching, joyously open and expressive wine, with a good bit of swagger. The flavors are a mix of wild berries, smoke and tobacco box (actually drinks as a distant kin to northern Rhone Syrah!) backed by a refreshing acidity.
This estate is a gem- a gift of consistently excellent value and quality, not to mention delicious and authentic wines from unmatched terroir.