Attilio Ghisolfi Barolo Bussia Bricco Visette 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Piedmont region of Italy, with its history of agriculture and its reputation for producing the highly-
praised and prized Barolo wines, certainly qualifies as one of the world's best-known areas for grape-
growing and wine production.
Carlo Ghisolfi bought a small property of approximately nine acres in 1985 in what is now known as the "Cru Bussia" and started making wine. Carlo’s son and grandson expanded the property accumulating 21 additional acres of neighboring lands. The wines under the Ghisolfi label were made in 1988 and it included a Barolo Bricco Visette, which is the name of the hill of Carlo’s original nine acres.
Until 1987, the land was used for both vines and other agricultural products. At that time, Carlo’s great
grandson Gianmarco Ghisolfi had come into the family business and, with his father Attilio, converted
most of the land over to grapevines in order to start producing wines under their own label.
While not organically certified, the vineyards are eco-friendly and cultivated with a great respect for the
environment. They do not use chemical fertilizers or herbicides (weeds are killed mechanically)
The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.
There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.
On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.
The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.