Welcoming Piero Busso
Piero Busso, San Stunet
Established in 1953 by Piero’s father, Piero Busso resides in Neive, in the northeastern part of Barbaresco DOCG. “I’ve been hesitant with Barbaresco,” said Greg Reeves, our Italian Portfolio Director, “because most of the best producers were until now taken, producers that represent true Barbaresco.” And so it is with patience and pleasure that we welcome Piero Busso, to our portfolio. Organically farming his four crus, Busso joins the ranks of his Barbaresco peers [Luca] Roagna and [Andrea] Sottimano, in elevating the status of Barbaresco, without confining themselves to the label restraints of ‘traditional’ or ‘modern’ winemaking.
The “queen” to Barolo’s “king”, Barbaresco’s nebbiolo ripens earlier and is generally thought to be finer and less aggressive than Barolo. With three of their four crus located in Neive (Borgese, Mondino and Gallina) — the Barbaresco commune with the highest elevation and the yielder of its most elegant wines — and one in Treiso (San Stunet), which is located at the southern end of Barbaresco, Piero Busso has planted his nebbiolo with great intent, to produce site specific wines.
Lucia & Piero Busso
And while Barbaresco has traditionally been an insular region, Busso gazes outward with Sottimano and Roagna, who often gather to taste wines from other regions, opening their minds and palates to the world of wines while remaining committed to making wines of Barbaresco. “These guys are trying to make a change in Barbaresco,” said Reeves. “They’re a younger generation working specific sites. And his wines are exalting Barbaresco,” said Reeves, “not trying to be Barolo, not over-extracted.”
As one of Neive’s greatest vineyard sites, Gallina resides at 320m with south-west exposure and soils of calcareous clay. Working with 1.1ha, Busso harvests his 25-45 year old vines that are planted 6,000 vines/ha. Also in Neive, the family’s parcel in the Mondino vineyard consists of 1.2ha also at 320m with calcareous-clay soils and facing south-west. Borgese is the 1.3ha site that surrounds the family’s winery/home, while San Stunet consists of 1.2 ha at 400m in Treiso with south-east exposure and calcareous rock soils. While practicing organic with cover crops between the rows of vines, the family “practices modern farming methods to get the most out of the vineyard,” added Reeves.
Pierguido & Piero Busso
In the cellar, Busso employs indigenous yeast and extended macerations of 3-4 weeks, which are followed by 18 months in barrel or barrique, for each of his cru wines. The Langhe Nebbiolo is also produced in Neive, with fruit from 10-25 year old vines that are planted to calcareous clay soils at 320m.
Traditional with a modern bent, Piero Busso with his wife and two children are making wines that best express the potential of their sites. An anomaly in Barbaresco, Busso has managed to stay true to the region and its terroir while adapting to the modern techniques that enable the wines’ purest expression.