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.
More closed, aromatically, than their other 2017 Barolos. And with a curled-up tension on the palate that tells me this wine is going to take a lot longer to be ready to drink than its stablemates. And yet, although the Pichemej is usually a fiercely tannic Barolo, the 2017 has tannins with breathtaking polish. I can feel their sheen. And although the palate is as tight and strongly bonded to itself as graphene film, it is still showing its beauty, from a distance – cinnamon-spiced cherry, spring-water-washed gravel, woodland strawberry and woodland mushroom (the damp, dark earth still clinging to its cap). This may be approachable earlier than its previous vintages, but it still has the fierce focus of a long-distance runner. 2025 – 2037
There’s a grainy note to the ripe red fruit on the nose, turning to lightly spiced vanilla on the pate. Full and fruity with lightly intrusive tannins and a vanilla-fruit finish. Needs a bit of time to even out. Promising. Drink from 2023.
This opens with aromas of leather, forest floor and a whiff of rose petal. On the full-bodied palate, polished tannins accompany cranberry jam, star anise and tobacco. 2024 – 2032
The Pichemej bottling from the Marrone sisters is not a single vineyard bottling, but rather a selection of older vine parcels from their vineyards in both La Morra and Castiglione Falletto, with the vines generally planted around 1975. The wine is raised entirely in botti for thirty months prior to bottling and the 2017 comes in at 14.42 percent alcohol. The bouquet is deeper and a bit more black fruity than the normale from this vintage, delivering scents of red and black cherries, spit-roasted gamebird, camphor, a fine base of soil, roses, a nice touch of brown spices and a bit of bonfire in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, ripe and well-balanced, with excellent soil signature and grip, tangy acids, nicely integrated tannins and a long, complex and promising finish. This will be a long-distance runner and demand plenty of bottle age before it starts to soften up, but it is going to be an excellent bottle of Barolo once it is ready to drink. 2035 – 2085+