2016 Marchesi di Grésy, Barbaresco DOCG “Camp Gros” Martinenga Riserva, Piedmonte, Italy.
The 2016 Barbaresco DOCG “Camp Gros” Martinenga Riserva by Marchesi di Grésy is a powerful and dense Nebbiolo, more in kind with Barolo at this stage than the more feminine Barbaresco, but you can see the potential for greatness in this vintage, which headed toward legendary status with incredible depth, nobility and length. The raw core material here is already quite seducing, with wild plum, black cherry, huckleberry, strawberry compote and red currant fruits, along with iron ore, tarry licorice, leather, cedar and dried violets in supporting roles. The notable tannins are grippy and will require some patience, though perfectly suited to the texture and weight here, making me think that 10 to 15 years will bring some awesome pleasure to this exceptional bottling. With its favorable southern exposure, blue marl based limestone soils and high elevation, the Martinenga cru has the ideal conditions, making for iconic wines, it is a place that Nebbiolo thrives in even in the most difficult of years or stellar as the case here. The famed Camp Gros parcel of Martinenga, as mentioned before, 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, after a 30 maceration on the skins and fermentation in vats, 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, as mentioned before, was one of the very first examples of Cru Barbaresco I ever tried, well over 20 years ago now, (is) officially known as Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy now, has been in the di Grésy family since 1797. This estate has been a top Barbaresco producer since the early 1970s, when they started bottling wines under their own label, after hundreds of years of just 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, especially in vintages like this 2016, which is set to join the classics! I tasted this 2016 “Camp Gros” Martinenga Riserva along side the latest regular 2018 Martinenga cru Barbaresco, which was a pretty stunning wine itself and the Marchesi di Grésy 2016 Barbaresco Guian Martinenga, which also was showing remarkable purity and depth, all of which I highly recommend!
($120 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive