VENETO

Tommaso Bussola

Represented exclusively in the U.S. and California by The Rare Wine Co

When Veneto legend Giuseppe Quintarelli was asked years ago to name the region’s next superstar, he didn’t hesitate: Tommaso Bussola.

Quintarelli's prediction began to be realized in 1999, when Tommasos 1995s were released. Among the countless accolades he received, Gambero Rosso gave him the first of many Tre Bicchieris for his majestic Recioto TB.

Learning on the Job 

Originally trained as a stone mason, Tommaso took over over his uncle's Valpolicella estate—with its prized old vineyards in the heart of the Classico zone—in the mid-1980's. While vineyard work came naturally to him, he experimented relentlessly, and absorbed information and ideas from every source available. With each passing vintage, his wines came to show more polish, finesse, intensity, and personality.

By the late nineties, his style had matured, and his wines had become world-famous for their incredible intensity of fruit. Like other top Veneto winemakers, he uses new barrels, but any hint of new wood is hidden by cascades of lush, opulent fruit.

Ancient Clones 

The key, we think, is not only the age of his vines but the fact that they are nearly all naturally low-yielding ancient clones: Corvinone (40%), Corvina Grossa (25%) and Rondinella (20%).

Corvinone, in particular, is quite rare today because of its low yields and finicky growing habits. Yet, Tommaso claims it is the Corvinone that gives his wines their depth. He calls it the "Super Corvina," saying that it produces stronger, denser, richer, more perfumed wines.

Small percentages of old vine Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dindarella and Pindara round out the cépage, along with new experiments like Teroldego and Merlot.

Ca del Laito

Despite being the estate's standard wines, the Ca' del Laito selections are near the summit of the Valpolicella pyramid. Only estate fruit is used, including declassified wine from top sites like Alto, Soto el Barbi, Casali and Ca' del Laito.

Valpolicella Ripasso

The Ca del Laito Valpolicella is made in a bold, Ripasso style that highlights the quality of Tommasos raw materials.

L'Errante

An Amarone-styled wine made from Bordelais varietals, the “Wanderer” results from Tommasos boundless curiosity. Unique.

Amarone Classico

Tommaso’s first goal every year is to make the best Amarone Classico possible. An incredible Amarone value. 

Recioto Classico

Tommaso is the master of Recioto, and even his normale can challenge the region’s elite.

TB

The “TB” selections are Tommaso’s finest, made from a ruthless selection only when nature allows.

Valpolicella Classico Superiore TB

While the Amarone and Recioto enjoy greater renown, this 100% Ripasso wine may be Tommaso's greatest achievement.

Amarone Classico TB

Fantastically hedonistic, offering great velvety richness on the palate and exotic notes of black cherry, cocoa and ash.

Amarone Classico TB “Vigneto Alto”

 A limited selection made only when certain barrels display a little extra “magic.”

Recioto Classico TB

Bussolas wines are the reference standards for Recioto. Lofty scores and awards have been legion.


Technical Information

OVERVIEW

Winemaking/Viticulture: Tommaso & Paolo Bussola

Marketing: Daniela Benedetti (Tommaso's wife) and Giuseppe Bussola

History: The self-taught Bussola took over his uncle’s domaine in 1985. He aims to make the best normale wines possible in each vintage. In many years, he is also able to make limited quantities of his elite TB line, selected from the best grapes at harvest.

VINEYARD INFORMATION

Soils: Toar (basalt) & chalky gravel. Terraced steep hillside vineyards.

Fruit Source: 15 hA in Valpolicella Classico.

Estate Plantings: 40% Corvinone, 40% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, plus 10% Dindarella, Molinara, Merlot, Cabernet France, and Cabernet Sauvignon

Vine Age: 35% 12+ years old, 40% 45+ years old, 25% 60+ years old

ADDITIONAL WINEMAKING NOTES

Bussola uses different barrel sizes, woods (oak, cherry, chestnut, acacia) and aging for each wine, and is always experimenting.

Because of Bussola’s demanding standards, production of each cuvée varies dramatically from vintage to vintage.

Practicing organic viticulture.


THE WINES

  Grapes Avg. Production

Valpolicella Ripasso "Ca'del Laito"

60% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 10% Molinara & other varieties

2,500 cases

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

65% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 5% Molinara & other varieties

2,000 cases

Recioto della Valpolicella Classico

55% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% others

400 cases (6 x 500mL)

L'Errante

50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

250 cases (Note: Produced with a blend of the Amarone and Ripasso methods.)

TB Valpolicella Classico Superiore

75% Corvina and Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 15% other varieties

1,000 cases

TB Amarone

75% Corvina and Corvinone, 15% Rondinella, 10% other varieties

0-600 cases

TB Amarone "Vigneto Alto"

Wine made with grapes from a single vineyard called Vigneto Alto.

This wine is produced in limited quantities, and is bottled in only the best vintages.

0 to 300 cases

TB Recioto della Valpolicella

5% Corvina and Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 15% other varieties

0 to 300 cases (6 x 500mL)

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