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On the Top Langhe Wine Group, This Producer Is the Talk of the Town
– Changed Voerzio to Start Making Classic Wines
– His Barolo Top Crus Go for $400+
– Started His Own Micro Estate on the Side
– Top, Top, Top Tier in the Langhe
– This Will Be the Reference Point Barbera Once the Word Gets Out
– The Lalou Bize Leroy of Italy

Barbera … But Not
– 20 Years Ago Loire Cabernet Franc All Cost Under $30…
…Except Clos Rougeard Because It Was Another Animal
– Clos Rougeard Was $50-$90 Back Then and Now It’s $180+
– Don’t Think of Today’s Wine As a Great Barbera
– It’s a Great Wine that Happens to Be Made from Barbera
– It’s Only $36 Because the Grape Is Barbera
– It Won’t Be $36 for Long
– Its Sister Wine (Same Winemaker) Is $350 a Magnum
– This Is the Even More Classically Styled Version
– For Me, More Interesting and Complex than Vigna Francia from Giacomo Conterno ($60-$90) 

2022 Cesare Bussolo Barbera d’Alba “Vigna Santa Lucia”
– An Absolutely Profound Wine
– Very Low Yields
– Micro Production
– Insane Nose
– Red Berry Fruit
– Sense of Depth and Richness
– Some Spice and Saline Notes
– Super Complex Gamey, Earthy and Mineral Notes
– Like Old School Cornas
– Mineral Style like Cuchet/Fauterie
– Stunning and Deep Palate
– Great Cut and Juiciness
– Tiny Precise Black Plums
– Elite St. Joseph-like Fresh Minerals & Energy
– Deep Berry Fruit
– 1/5 the Price of Its Sister Wine Made by the Same Winemaker

 – You Are Getting a Profound Micro Production Wine Made By A Guy Who Produces $250-$400 Barolo and $350 ONLY in Magnum Barbera for $36

2023 Cesare Bussolo Dolcetto D’Alba San Bartolomeo
– A Passion Project
– Very Little Made
– I Have a Couple of Cases
– One of the Best Dolcettos in Italy
– Likely the Most Distinctive
– A “Thinking Man’s Dolcetto” for the True Wine Geek
– Nose: Just Ridiculously Floral
– Blueberry Flowers, Blue Rose Petal
– A Nose You Want to Smell
– A Wine of Contemplation
– Palate: So Silky
– Gorgeously Elegant Texture
– Old School Barbaresco-like Texture
– Elegant Blueberry Juice
– Hint of Spice, Some Blueberry Skin
– Internal Aromatics: Blueberry Flowers, Spice Flowers
– Gorgeous and Contemplative
– You Really Want to Serve This to Your Top Wine Geek Friends Blind

Cesare Bussolo
– The Logical Conclusion of Modern Vineyard Management
– “Hacking the Race Condition”
– Crazy Low Yields – He’s Approaching Lalou Levels
– 5 Times the Labor per Bottle
He Doesn’t Have #1 in Italy in His Sights, He Has Domaine Leroy

These are for Fall 2025 Because If I don’t sell Now They Will Be All Gone. I Missed Santa Lucia Barbera 2020 and 2021 + Dolcetto 2022 and 2021 Because Of That Reason

The titles on this E-Mail are bold statements. Perhaps the boldest we’ve made in our history. But I hope that you will indulge us as we walk you through this. It’s quite important to understand why the wines taste like they do and why they are so special. Even unique.

Please indulge us as we, in true Talmudic fashion, lead you to our conclusions.

What Is a Race Condition and Why Does It Matter?
– A race condition occurs when you have a system performing two or more things at once and if one of those things doesn’t work out, you have a disaster
– Growing grapes is essentially a race condition.
– On the one hand, you have the grapes achieving “phenolic ripeness.” This means that the flavors that you want are expressed properly. Fruit, secondary characteristics,etc.
. As the grapes mature, you also get more sugar which, when the grapes are fermented, turns into alcohol. More sugar, more alcohol. Higher levels of alcohol can obviously cause wines to taste hot.
. If grapes hang on the vines too long, you can also lose acidity and freshness.
– Now the problem is that if the particular combination of weather and terroir slows phenolic ripeness, you have 2 choices. Either pick early and have green tasting wine or pick late, risking hot and potentially not fresh wine.  

Why Are Wines from Old Vines Better?
We all love old vines. But why? The answer is pretty easy. Older wines produce less fruit and the small amount of fruit that they make is better because the plant devotes all of the energy it gets from the sun, and nutrients it gets from from the soil, to making a smaller number of grapes great.

Why Do Winemakers do Green Harvest?
Green harvests, or the removal of unripe grapes during the summer, are done to approximate the effects of old vines. Winemakers remove some of the bunches to reduce the number of grapes and allow the vines to concentrate all resources on a smaller number of grapes.

So What Does Cesare Bussolo Do?
Cesare has taken the green harvest approach to a logical conclusion. His approach allows young vines to act like old vines. He has basically hacked the race condition.
           1-He plants high density. This may seem counterintuitive but when combined with the rest of his                    program, it makes complete sense.
           2-He removes unripe grapes three times per year instead of once. The obvious benefit is to                          concentrate the vines’ energies on a smaller number of grapes throughout the growing season.                The downside is that he uses 5 times the amount of labor per bottle as a normal winemaker.
           3-He chops off half or more of the grapes on each bunch.
           4-The number of grapes per vine is dramatically lower. But each and every one of those grapes is                 perfect.

How Does This Impact the Wine?
       1.He gets perfect fruit. Perfect. It’s not really the high levels of fruitiness of the fruit (e.g. cherry,                    raspberry), but the secondary and tertiary flavors. It’s the balance. Each grape is getting an                        optimal amount of energy and nutrition because of Cesare’s extreme regimen.
       2.He harvests earlier – like August earlier. Because each vine is focusing the energy it receives on a             smaller number of grapes, those grapes ripen earlier.
       3.Difficult vintages don’t really matter to him. His grapes are like LeBron James dunking on a 5 foot              basket. It doesn’t really matter if there is a bit of wind. When other winemakers are worrying about            rain in September, Cesare is drinking a beer with his buddies and watching his wines mature. He              avoids all of the worries about crappy fall weather by inducing his grapes to ripen so that he can                harvest in the summer before it gets wet. He’s not worried about that last bit of sunshine ripening              his grapes. It’s all done.

What Will Happen to Ceare’s Wines in the Future?
        1.Going forward, Cesare is going to be even more severe – yields will drop an additional 50% off              of an already low base.
         2.He’s not trying to be the best winemaker in Italy – he’s trying to be the best winemaker in the                       world.
         3.Prices will double over the next 10 years (because yields will fall by 50%). And before you get                    into any discussion of supply and demand, trust me he will be able to sell out. Listening to this                  guy is like hearing the Sermon on the Mount live in person. 2 hours with him and you’d bet your                entire fortune on an allocation of his wines. 

The Cesare Bussolo Story
I have no idea how on earth I got this producer.

He’s one of the top 2-3 young producers in the Langhe and is the winemaker at a Top 10/20 estate.
– He worked at Brovia for 7 years, which is a very good, very solid traditional estate. A great place to learn one’s craft.
– Then he went to the great Roberto Voerzio estate in 2007.

Voerzio: from Hyper Modern to NeoClassical
Back then at Voerzio, before Cesare got there as the winemaker, it was not really the style of anyone on this list. These were, big, muscular, lavishly oaked Barolos.

Cesare came in and there was a huge style change. Away from the oaky style and more into a terroir-driven, mineral style with great freshness. The new style was based on a more traditional elevage in large, neutral Slavonian oak casks, rather than the 100% new barriques which Roberto Voerzio had utilized in the previous decade. These wines go for $250-$300 dollars a bottle for the Barolo and the Barbera, only made in magnums, goes for $350+. They are amongst the best wines in Barolo now with Cesare Bussolo at the helm. The top Crus go for $250-$400.

The Estate
Cesare has just started his own label one of the the two wines is a Barbera from a plot of land he bought in 2010. This is very very small production stuff we are talking. But to get a Barbera from the same winemaker who makes the $350 Barbera d’Alba Riserva Pozzo dell’Annunziata bottled only in magnums for $35.99? And I knew! I just knew this Barbera would be stunning. 

Knowing what he did at Voerzio and knowing what wines he made (only a Barbera and a Barolo) I wrote him an email telling him that we are the perfect people to sell his wine and that I know his wines are going to be amazing and can you please send me a bottle of each. It was a really good email and he did just that. They got here. They rested. Cesare then followed me on Instagram and started seeing what I was all about during the period the wines were resting. And then the day came.

The Wines
I was so excited to open the 2022 Cesare Bussolo Barbera d’Alba “Vigna Santa Lucia” for $37.99 a bottle on a 4-pack and $35.99 on a 12 bottle case. As a child, Cesare played with his sister among the vines in the vineyard he now owns; this beautiful west-facing site called Santa Lucia. He planted these vineyards in 2010 with high density low yielding Barbera. And from this vineyard comes one of the finest Barbera’s I’ve ever tasted. A magnificent wine and truly one the most genius wines we have ever sold.

This is god level Barbera and remember the only other one he makes is $350 a magnum. This is $32.99.

Sick nose. Red berry fruit. Loads of it. Sense of deepness and richness. Some spice and saline notes as well. After air (2 hours) the nose really gets going. Super complex gamey, earthy and mineral notes. Man it’s like if old school Cornas (mineral style like Cuchet/Fauterie) mated with very serious Barbera. As this airs, more fruit comes out but it never sheds its mineral core. The definition of mineral-driven.

Palate is juicy, complex and has terrific freshness and so much minerality. Wow what’s this? A mineral-driven Barbera? Yes it is. The rarest kind of Barbera. Great cut and juiciness with some vivid and super pure berry fruit. Thus has elite St. Joseph-like fresh minerals that are just delightful. Terrific depth and structure. This has an urgent restrained sweetness as well that just so ever closely mingles with the unreal minerality to make this a delicacy. Even seems a bit young, as does most very serious Barbera which this is. Great power and depth. On Day 2 this wine just keeps delivering. Gorgeous minerality. Deep berry fruit but so so precise. Some black plum but tiny precise black plums. Some gorgeous jelly notes. Gorgeous spice. Palate is so generous now but still has laser like acidity and incredible graphite/graniteminerality. So juicy, balanced and clean. Great structure and precision. This is just the best Barbera I can remember having. This is a Revelation.

Long persistent finish of black and red berry fruit and beautiful minerals and substantial tannins. Really really long.

This will age for at least 10-15 years.

The second wine I only have a couple of cases. But I wanted to offer it because it’s about as good an example of what it is as you can get. It’s the 2023 Cesare Bussolo Dolcetto D’Alba San Bartolomeo for $25.99 a bottle each on a 4 pack and $23.99 on a 12 bottle Case. Let’s face it – this is a passion project (Barolo is a lot more profitable use of Cesare’s time) and for a good reason. It’s one of the best and basically the most elegant Dolcetto I’ve had. Think a Dolcetto made in the style of old school Barbaresco and you get an idea. I’ve got a bit more than last time I sold it so I can hyperbolize a bit more. This is the best Dolcetto I have ever had. It has elite aromas, florals and so much finesse it’s like Grand Cru Dolcetto. It has a zen serenity about it that I have never had in any other Dolcetto. 

The nose is just ridiculously floral. Blueberry flowers, blue rose petal (yes that actually exists), so pastel. Gorgeous and grapey nose, spice, white pepper, jelly donut filling, and just so clean and vivid. Cesare has the touch. So gorgeous. Just a nose you want to smell. And so distinctive. It lacks that janmmy blueberry aromatic aspect that you normally get with Dolcetto. It’s more a wine of contemplationthan a knock it back pizza wine. 

The palate is so silky. More the texture of old school Barbaresco than your standard Dolcetto. I tend to geek out about texture as I get older and this is a wine that got my texture geek on. You do obviously get that blueberry fruit but it’s different. The best analogy is the difference between say the fruit in say a 2015 Barolo and 30 year old Barbaresco (this is the latter). It’s an elegant blueberry juice. Palate is lush and juicy, with gorgeous fruit and such a subtle way about it. Really fine tannins and such incredible balance and delicacy. Such a sneaky persistent finish. This is so refined. I am blown away. What a wine. Theres a hint of elegant spice to round it out and a touch of blueberry skin. Internal aromatics are, as one would expect, gorgeous. Blueberry flowers, spice flowers, almost rose-like.

This is really an amazing wine to taste for real wine lovers. You really want to serve this to your top wine geek friends blind. You’ll recognize it as Dolcetto but it’s unlike any Dolcetto you’ve ever had. Maybe people made Dolcettos like this 50 years ago before my time but this is certainly a unique wine by today’s standards.  

Please visit my new Tasting Notes Blog on all wines that I have sold through Fass Selections. It is constantly updated.

Please call Cheryl at 949 378 5251 after emailing with your firstorder if you are a first time customer (we prefer not to receive credit card numbers over E-Mail).

I love drinking and selecting wines – but my passion for teaching people about wine is almost as big. I’m happy to announce a block of time each day where people can call me just to chat about wine in general. These blocks are NOT intended to sell wine (I do that all day). This is to talk to me about wine pairings or great producers or how long to age wines or styles of wine making or the latest wine controversy. My goal is to help people learn more about wine and enjoy it more. Call me at 917-912-4355 from 4-7EST Monday – Friday.

2022 Cesare Bussolo Barbera d’Alba “Vigna Santa Lucia” – $39.99 ($151.96 4-Pack, $431.88 12 bottle case {$35.99}))


2023 Cesare Bussola Dolcetto D’Alba San Bartolomeo – $27.99 ($103.96 4-Pack, $287.88 12 bottle case {$23.99!})

Mix and Match on 4 or 12 Bottles Or More For Deepest Dea

This Offer is Not Available to Retailers, Wholesalers or Restaurants

Shipping will be charged when wine ships.

These will be shipped in the Fall of 2025

Previous Offers Still Open

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I am big into certain social media and I want people to take pictures of the wines they have received or will receive and tag me in them and share their thoughts. I a am on Instagram. Please tag me there. I also am on Delectable which I love a lot. It is Iphone/Ipad only, but it’s like Instagram meets Facebook for wine. Tag me there and find me there as well. I want to know if you liked the wine, were not moved by the wine, hated the wine or the wine gave you a religious experience. I want to know it all. Feedback is key and I will answer all feedback e-mails as quickly as I can.

For all billing and invoicing inquiries please contact Rick at refassselections@gmail.com.