The origins of Agricola Marrone date back over a century and through four generations where the family has focused on cultivating local grape varietals with a passionate commitment and dedication to the land.
In 1978 ‘Gianpi’ took over full management of Marrone and began a phase of expansion in the vineyards and the cellar space. His wife Giovanna, affectionately known as “Mamma Gio,” orchestrates private hospitality and is the kitchen director. For Giovanna, food is “tradition and Italian values that go hand with our wines.”
When Pietro Marrone was born in 1887, his father Edoardo was already producing wines. In 1910, at 23 years old, he asked his father to plant some vineyards. In the early 1920s/30s the winery began cultivating vineyards using techniques that were revolutionary at the time: reducing production yields to prioritize higher quality and avoiding sowing wheat between vine rows, a standard practice at the time. This decision was an early adoption of what eventually became known as modern cultivation practices widely used in the region today.
Since 2011 the winery has been run by “Tre Fie,” the three daughters of Gian Piero and Giovanna Marrone. Valentina is the winemaker, Serena runs marketing and business operations, and Denise is the hospitality heart and manager of the visitor programs and restaurant. The farm is run with minimal intervention in the vineyard, a philosophy that carries through from harvest to winemaking. The Marrone family pays careful attention to produce wines that are elegantly structured with the potential to evolve for decades.
Grapes / Soils
|Barolo Pichemej||Nebbiolo||Vines planted in 1975||Monforte d’Alba: clayey marls with a high percentage of sand; La Morra, Tortonian soil: more compact calcerous marl soil mixed with sand, rich in magnesium and manganese resulting in more perfumed, gentle, softer wines. The softness of La Morra is blended with potent tannins, structure and full body of Monforte. The latter is more laydown/wait and has extreme longevitiy; it is full richness in the mouth||2.1|
Vineyards in Monforte d’Alba and La Morra.
- Monforte d’Alba
- Altitude: 350 meters
- Exposure: Southwest
- Soils: Clayey marls with high sand content
- La Morra
- Altitude: 270 meters
- Exposure: South
- Soils: Compact calcareous marl mixed with sand, rich in magnesium and manganese
- Vines Planted: average 1975
- Vine Training System: Traditional Guyot
- Hand harvested the first week in October, with manual berry selection
- Additional berry sorting before light pressing
- Fermentation on skins for 30 days at 30º C in stainless steel tanks
- Malolactic fermentation in large 30 Hl barrels
- Aged 30 months in oak, the first 10 months on fine lees with battonage
- Bottling under nitrogen cover
- Bottle aged a minimum of 6 months in controlled temperature environment
‘Pichemej’ means “more than better” in the local Piedmontese dialect, the heritage of the family.
It develops in the glass with a typically garnet color. It leaves the nose speechless, where subtle and elegant notes alternate, to create an exceptional aromatic bouquet: lovely mature cherry, nutmeg and hints of Indian spice. In the mouth it continues round and full, showing flashes of hay and alpine herbs and flowers, with balanced tannins. Great ageing potential.
100% Nebbiolo, “Lancia” & “Michet” biotypes; alcohol: 14.7%; vineyards in Monforte d’Alba & La Morra; altitudes 350 & 270 meters; calcareous and clayey marl soils mixed with sand, rich in minerals; hand harvested in October with 2 passes of berry selections; fermented on skins 30 days at 30º C; malolactic fermentation in large 30Hl barrels; aged 30 months in oak, initial 10 months on fine lees with battonage; bottled under nitrogen cover and bottle aged at least 6 months.
- 100% Nebbiolo, “Lampia” and Michet” biotypes
- Alcohol: 14.7%
- Total Acidity: 5.2 g/l
- Extract: 27.8 g/l
A very soft, fine-tannined red with plum, chocolate and cedar character. It’s medium-bodied. Chewy yet, at the same time, caressing finish. Give it a year or two to soften. Drink after 2022.
Rose-petal, underbrush and leather aromas lead the nose. The solid palate offers raspberry jam, cooking spice and tobacco alongside firm tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2024–2032.
The 2016 Barolo Pichemej offers good linearity and directness, and the wine opens a wider door onto those characteristic Nebbiolo aromas. This is a lean-bodied expression, with moderate length and staying power, to taste with delicate plin (small Piedmontese ravioli) made with minced meat. The wine doesn’t stick around for long, but while it does, you get a good view on the grape, albeit in a rather simple and straightforward manner. Some 5,500 bottles were made. 2022 – 2033
Pichemej means ‘beyond the best’ in Piemonte dialect.
Powerful, feral nose. This tastes as if it might be closer to 15% than 14.5%. A fierce wine, clenched in oak and tannins. Very astringent and drying at this point. Very hot. Sour morello cherries snap and bite. But as it gets some air and relaxes in the glass, some gentleness surfaces: rose petals, autumn truffle. It’s all about faith and time… 2026 – 2036
The 2016 Pichemej bottling from Marrone is a touch higher in octane than the regular Barolo in this vintage, tipping the scales at 14.7 percent. The wine is deep and complex on the nose, offering up scents of cherries, grilled meats, camphor, bonfire, discreetly autumnal soil tones, orange peel and a nice touch of oregano in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied, ripe and nicely sappy at the core, with good soil signature, ripe, buried tannins and fine length and grip on the complex and gently warm finish. Stylistically, this reminds me a bit of several Baroli from the 1997 and 2000 vintages. It is a good bottle in the making. 2032-2080
|Appellation(s)||Barolo DOCG; Langhe DOC|
|Proprietors||Gian Piero Marrone|
|Annual Production||4600 9L cases|
|Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic)||Organic|