Jul 8, 2013

Valpolicella Tour: Tommaso Bussola

Tommaso Bussola is one estate you shouldn't miss when travelling to the Valpolicella region.

The estate lies among the very top estates in quality its wines, made in artesan wine making style, and compared to the older and definitely more pricey estates of Quintarelli and Dal Forno, Tommaso Bussola's wines are low priced for the awesome quality they offer.

Tommaso Bussola's artesan wine making and wines are extraordinary, crafted by passionate people and in small quantities.

As producers like Tedeschi are believers in controlled wine making and state-of-the-art grape drying facilities, Tommaso Bussola believes in all natural wine making techniques where technological advances doe not play a role.

We were glad to meet Daniela at the estate who gave us a presentation on the wines. Her husband, Tommaso, is the man behind the operations with help of their son Paolo.

We tasted only the "TB" range at the estate.

I have to state that though Quintarelli and Dal Forno are world renowned masters in Amarone production, Tommasso Bussola ranks in my books with them, however with significant advantage in price you have to pay for a bottle since the before mentioned producers are definitely on the high end.

Especially their flagship Amarone (Vigneto Alto, tasted the 2006 vintage) is a true beauty, something to really look for and the best wine I had during the trip to Valpolicella. Artesan winemaking was very evident from the wines since they had  a special feeling to them. The wine spends 4 years in French oak. Really concentrated wine with such a ripeness of fruit that it is almost sweet on the mouthfeel -tobacco, espresso notes being very eminent. The best grapes are used for the Vigneto Alto.

It seems that using double barriques makes a difference in amarones, Tommaso Bussola uses them a lot.

Production is limited to 20,000 thousand for Amarones, 25,000 for Valpolicella Ca del Laito, and under 10,000 bottles per each of the rest of range.

The "Ca del Laito" 2008 is a Valpolicella Superiore which is very good in its own class. Recommended. Full bodied and with great tannin structure. Blueberries, chocolate and dark berries. The Valpolicella Classio 2007 offers more toasty and tobacco notes compared to "Ca del Laito".

Plus a really interesting IGT Rosso Veronese:

L'Errante 2007 (IGT Rosso Veronese)

My travel companion said that she has maybe never had a wine as great as the L'Errante 2007.

A red bordeaux blend (merlot 50%, cabernet sauvignon 25%, cabernet franc 25%) with limited production of only 8,000 bottles from a vineyard located in Negrar.

This extraordinary wine boasts aromas of espresso, chocolate, plum & blueberry & blackcurrant leaves mixed together in a highly concentrated package. It is very velvety, round and beautiful all the way to the lingering finish. Outstanding structure.

The wine is quite unique, albeit other producers try to experiment with similar grapes and winemaking style.
Made in amarone style, i.e. the grapes go through appasimento (grape drying). With a huge 16.5% abv, the wine is still miraculously in balance as the extraction of fruit is superb and the wine has sweet tannins. Both French oak and American oak was used (mostly French, and new), and my liking this wine is surprising since I am not a fan of American oak used in old-continent wines, however I still adored this wine.

With €40 you get a very good wine at a reasonable price. The wine is approachable now however will surely develop into a hedonistic piece of heaven with further maturation and should well last 10+ years. It is definitely worth trying now however rewards cellaring.

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