2014 Marchesi di Grésy, Barbaresco DOCG “Camp Gros” Martinenga Riserva, Piedmonte, Italy.
While I have been somewhat skeptical of the 2014 vintage in Piedmonte, especially in Barolo, this fabulous, aromatic and beautifully detailed Camp Gros Riserva absolutely crushed my doubts and I was completely seduced by its charms, elegance and depth, it is a lovely Barbaresco with classic Nebbiolo presence in the glass. There is silken layers of ripe black cherry, mulberry, damson plum and strawberry fruits along with hints of earth, spice and mineral, accented by anise, cedar, tobacco leaf and wilted rose petals in a generous medium bodied garnet/brickish and ruby red wine that gracefully hides its tannin and its serious complexity. This wine has a palate that competes with the best of the region and will illicit some moments of silent reverence and respect, this is undeniable pleasure and a special treat. Almost predicting my own questions, the winery notes, that this vineyard, with a favorable southern exposure, blue marl based limestone soils and high elevation, the Martinenga cru has the ideal conditions that Nebbiolo thrives in, where it is able to reach full maturity and concentration even in the most difficult of years. The famed Camp Gros parcel of Martinenga, is located on the eastern end of the amphitheater of Barbaresco, it is all organically farmed with severe and careful selections to produce wines such as this. Marchesi di Grésy and winemaker Matteo Sasso ages this Barbaresco Riserva for close to 15 months in French Allier barriques and then an additional year and a half in large Slavonian oak casks, before bottling, after which it is matured in the bottle for another two years before release.

The Marchesi di Grésy winery, one of the very first examples of Cru Barbaresco I ever tried, well over 20 years ago now, officially known as Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy, has been in the di Grésy family since 1797 and has been a top Barbaresco producer since the early 1970s, when this multi-site started bottling wines under their own label, after hundreds of years of selling their grapes. The Marchesi di Grésy estate includes four properties located in Langhe and Monferrato, notable areas of Piedmont that have long histories of excellence in making some of the region’s best wines. Before becoming a serious winery, in the 1960s, this property operated like a traditional sustainable farm, producing livestock, vegetables and fruits, as well as obviously tending grapevines, which included many clones of Nebbiolo and even some rare sub-varietals like, Lampia, Rosé and Michet. During that time period, the grapes were contracted to top wine producers and winemakers in the area, which was common practice in the Langhe, before the likes of Gaja, Giacosa and Marchesi di Grésy became house hold names in the wine world. In about 1973 Alberto di Grésy decided that potential of his vineyards were such that he decided to vinify his own grapes, which proved a good move and in time the Marchesi di Grésy’s efforts have made this estate a blue-chip label for collectors and enthusiasts. Bravo to Matteo Sasso, who created a gorgeous wine in a tough vintage and a Nebbiolo that really impresses, it can be easily enjoyed now, but still has the stuffing to be cellared another 5 to 10 years with some potential to improve, I only hope I get a chance to re-visit this “Camp Gros” Martinenga Riserva in a few more years!
($138 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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