In the 1970’s and 80’s the name ‘Valpolicella’ was synonymous with thin, mass-produced party plonk. Well, things have changed. There have always been two undisputed ‘Kings’ of Amarone – Romano Dal Forno and the late Giuseppe Quintarelli. Sadly, the wines these two guys produce are too pricey for N.Z. tastes.
Some years ago the acknowledged maestro of Amarone, Giuseppe Quintarelli, was asked to name the region’s next up and coming star and he didn’t hesitate: Tommaso Bussola.
Tommaso started working in the winery in 1977 and by 1995 had taken over his uncle’s Valpolicella estate with its prized old vineyards in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone. While vineyard work came naturally to him, he continuously experimented, and gathered information and ideas from every source available.
With each passing vintage he pushed the boundaries of winemaking in the region and by the late nineties, his style had matured, and his wines had become world-famous for their incredible intensity of fruit. Like other top winemakers in the area, he uses new barrels, but any hint of wood is hidden by the lush, opulent fruit.
Bussola uses ancient clones - Corvinone and Corvina Grossa, and naturally low-yielding older vines. Corvinone, in particular, which is quite rare today because of its low yields and difficult growing habits. Yet, Tommaso says it is the Corvinone that gives his wines their depth. He calls it his “Super Corvina,” saying that it produces stronger, denser, richer, more perfumed wines, and this is certainly true.
“Tommaso Bussola remains a benchmark producer of fine Amarone and Recioto. His wines are remarkable for their textural richness, polish and overall class. The Amarone Vigneto Alto in particular is one of Italy’s reference-point wines.” Antonio Galloni – The Wine Advocate