Barolo Bussia – 2016

Region: italy - piedmont


The origins of Agricola Marrone date back over a century and through four generations. The family is focused on cultivating local grape varietals with a passionate dedication to the land.

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.

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.”

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.

produce wines that are elegantly structured with the potential to evolve for decades.

Grapes / Soils

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area acres
Barolo Bussia Nebbiolo Planted 1960 Clayey marls with a high percentage of sand with a particularly homogeneous soil with low permeability. Elvetian soil, from the formation period of grey yellow sands. 1.26

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Vineyard in the Bussia subzone/cru, Monforte d’Alba at the border with Castiglione Falletto.

  • Altitude: 1150 feet/350 meters
  • Exposure: Southwest
  • Soils: Clayey marls with high sand content, particularly homegenous soil with low permeability
  • Vines Planted: average 1960
  • Vine Training System: Traditional Guyot
Harvest Notes
  • Hand harvested second week in October, with manual berry selection
  • Additional berry sorting before light pressing
  • Fermentation on skins for 35 days at 86ºF
  • Malolactic fermentation in large 25 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
Winemaker's Notes

Barolo of structure and complexity, full of expressive intensity, but always dedicated to finesse and class. It has a ruby red color, which turns towards garnet tones. Complex aroma of cherry, small berries, licorice, mentholated, toasted notes and a leather imprint. In the mouth it affirms a decisive and powerful character, charming. Persistence is almost infinite, like its perspective over time.

Wine Summary

100% Nebbiolo, “Lancia” & Michet” biotypes; alcohol: 14.7%; Bussia cru vineyard, Monforte d’Alba near border of Castiglione Falletto; clayey marl soils with high sand content, low permeability; vines planted 1960; hand harvested 2nd week of October with 2 passes of berry selections; fermented 35 days at 86ºF on skins in stainless steel tanks; malolactic fermentation in 25 hectoliter 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.

Technical Information
  • 100% Nebbiolo, “Lancia” & Michet” biotypes
  • Alcohol: 14.7%
  • Total Acidity: 5.44 g/l
  • Extract: 27.9 g/l


94 Points

Aromas of cedar, strawberry and dried flowers follow through to a medium to full body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften. Powerful and focused. Impressive. Better after 2022., August, 2020

92 Points

This opens with aromas of red-skinned berry, truffle and leather. The firmly structured palate offers red cherry, licorice and white pepper alongside youthful taut tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2024–2034.

Wine Enthusiast, September, 2020

91 Points

The Gian Piero Marrone 2016 Barolo Bussia pours out of the bottle with a light ruby color and a lean-bodied appearance. The wine offers a grounded, albeit not particularly intense bouquet with dark fruit, blackberry, plum, tar and camphor ash. The wine glides clean over the palate, and it offers a mid-weight performance with moderate power. A mere 3,340 bottles were made. 2022 – 2035

© Wine Advocate, July, 2020

17.5 Points

This is one of those bouquets that you can’t help yourself from exclaiming, ‘Oh wow!’, out loud. If you distilled the smell of the most intense, ripest strawberries in the world, added tellicherry black pepper and blood-orange peel, you’d get somewhere close. The palate is a pool of reflection of the nose, everything there but with ripples and shadows and the depth, brightness, sweetness, tang, minerality of crushed black rocks, sweet oranges, pomegranate molasses, petrichor. The tannins sheath the palate so tightly, so closely and yet so finely it’s as if they’ve been painted on with a sable paint brush. Stunningly complete, tightrope balance and incredibly difficult to resist drinking this now. 2020 – 2035, June, 2020

93 Points

The 2016 Barolo “Bussia” from Marrone is also a bit riper than its 2017 counterpart, coming in at 14.7 percent alcohol in this vintage. The wine is deep and complex on the nose, revealing an aromatic constellation of red and black cherries, roasted venison, camphor, autumnal soil tones, rose petals, brown spices and a topnote of bonfire. On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied, focused and complex, with a superb core of fruit, excellent soil undertow, ripe, well integrated tannins and a long, well-balanced and nicely ripe finish. One can sense the ripeness of this wine a touch on the backend, but it is not really warm on the finish, just ripe and assertive. It is going to be an excellent bottle in due course. 2035 – 2090

View From The Cellar, November, 2022

General Info

Country Italy
Region Piedmont
Appellation(s) Barolo DOCG; Langhe DOC
Proprietors Gian Piero Marrone
Founded 1887
Winemaker Valentina Marrone
Annual Production 4600 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Organic