De Forville’s “Loreto” Barbaresco, a single-vineyard bottling from one of the greatest single vineyards in the appellation, has always been one of the best—if not the best—values in an increasingly expensive category. But this ’15 is something else—it was easily one of the best wines in the room at that tasting, which included many heavy hitters from France as well. It combines the appealing ripeness and depth of 2015 with the tension and aromatic intricacy we all want from Barbaresco. It offers that magical combination of accessibility in its youth and obvious aging potential.
This bottling was long known as “Vigneto Loreto,” but its label these days says just “Loreto”—but regardless, the name refers to De Forville’s piece of the famed Barbaresco cru, "Ovello," a 20-hectare site and the northernmost vineyard in the village of Barbaresco. It’s a south-facing parcel, angling both to the southeast and southwest, with the calcareous marl soils typical of the region—although it is said to have a relatively high percentage of clay, which lends intensity to the wines bottled from it. Loreto has a southwestern exposure, and De Forville’s vines on the site exceed 35 years of age, which is readily evident in the concentration, structure, and ‘completeness’ of this 2015.