Review Score 91
Piedmont

2018 Piero Busso Barbaresco Gallina

$237.00
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“The 2018 Barbaresco Gallina is the most open-knit and forward of the three 2018 Barbarescos I tasted. Ripeness feels a bit pushed here, but it works nicely within the style of the wine. Super-ripe red cherry, sweet pipe tobacco, orange peel and exotic spice overtones build effortlessly as the Gallina shows off its racy, flamboyant personality.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
91 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

“The 2018 Barbaresco Gallina is the most open-knit and forward of the three 2018 Barbarescos I tasted. Ripeness feels a bit pushed here, but it works nicely within the style of the wine. Super-ripe red cherry, sweet pipe tobacco, orange peel and exotic spice overtones build effortlessly as the Gallina shows off its racy, flamboyant personality.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

This is clearly the most hedonistic Barbaresco in the line-up, with waves of plush fruit and very fine tannins. It offers, deep, plummy characters and all kinds of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, etc.) and a lingering, sappy close. An excellent 2018.

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Winemakers Note

Purchased in 1999, the domaine farms 1.3 hectares of what is possibly the best-known MGA of Neive (made famous by Bruno Giacosa). Sitting at 240 metres altitude on a low and twisting ridge opposite the Albesani Cru, Busso’s vines are south-west exposed and face the river. It’s a windy microclimate despite not being particularly high. The soil here is the limestone-rich Sant’Agata marl with sandy and calcareous layers. In 2015 Piero began to separate his oldest vines here (planted in the 1950s), for a separate old vine bottling (see below). The vines for this wine were planted between 25 and 50 years ago. Aging is the same as for the other crus (two years in Slavonian oak casks), but the wine is kept an extra year in bottle before release.

This is an old estate, established in the Neive area of Barbaresco in 1948 by Guido Busso, Piero’s father and Pierguido’s grandfather. Sadly Guido Busso died from an accident at the tender age of 32 and never enjoyed the fruits of his labour. On his passing, Guido’s widow Ada never ceased caring for the vines, although with a young family she was forced to sell the grapes rather than make wine. This is how things stood until Ada’s son Piero acquiesced to her request to return to the estate and pick up the baton left by his father.

Piero Busso bottled his first Albesani Barbaresco in 1982. He quickly found a local following for his seductive, modern style of Barbaresco that offered drinkers a change from the rustic norm at the time. Over the years, he showed enormous vision by acquiring parcels in the Mondino cru of Neive’s Balluri district (1985), in Gallina (again in Neive, 1999) and San Stunet in Treiso (2000). The latter remains the estate’s only vineyard outside of the Neive commune.

An instinctive winegrower unafraid to follow his own path, Piero Busso built up an enviable reputation among his peers as no-compromise vigneron; a grower’s grower of his era. Busso avoided synthetic herbicides from the beginning (very unusual at the time), meaning that even in the 1980s his vines and soils were as healthy and resilient as any in the region.

In 2010 Piero Busso was joined by his children, Pierguido and Emanuela. Unlike their father, these two have had the opportunity to travel widely, tasting at top estates and absorbing the progressive, earth-to-glass philosophy sweeping across Europe’s finest domaines. Since his arrival, Pierguido has instigated an even greater level of precision in the vineyard, from tempering yields by hard pruning, using natural cover crops and, in sunny years, crafting an ‘umbrella’ of apical shoots to provide shade for the grapes. The 10 hectares farmed today are certified organic, and the domaine remains small enough for the family to be involved in all aspects of physical work.

In the winery, Pierguido takes a minimalist approach. Having built up the population of ambient yeast, fermentations are now entirely spontaneous. Where his father had preferred a shorter, more vigorous extraction and aging in small cask, the son opts for longer time on the skins, fewer punch-downs and exclusively large cask maturation for the Nebbiolo wines. Macerations typically last 40-45 days using cappello sommerso (submerged cap)—a very traditional method. Aging takes place in 1000 to 2500-litre botti, and all the wines are bottled unfiltered.

Despite emerging as one of Barbaresco’s most captivating producers, the wines of Pier Busso (Pier is short for Pierguido) continue to fly under the radar, perhaps because it’s still early days since most of the changes have occurred, and perhaps also, as the Busso family are very low-key, humble people. Nonetheless, it would be difficult to find a more exciting ‘new’ grower within the DOCG’s boundaries (we’ve been looking for years!), especially if you love the classical style of Piemontese wine. We are counting our blessings and hoping that our clients will share our passion for the wines of this rising star. Packed with character and depth, these are Piemontese wines to sweep you off your feet.

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Delivery Details

Marketplace Product: Dispatch from Sydney warehouse in approximately 8 business days. Vintages may vary for Marketplace items. Generally, the latest available vintage will be delivered to you.


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