Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” DOCG (2001)

215 years of ownership by the di Gresy family has led to Marchesi di Gresy (or Le Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy as it is also known) becoming one of the pre-eminent wine producers in the Barbaresco zone of production, within Piedmont (North West Italy).

Most famous for its range of Barbaresco from the Marchesi di Gresy “Martinenga” estate – an ideally situated 24 hectare estate, of which half is planted to Nebbiolo used to produce Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco - Marchesi di Gresy have become one of the wineries to define the direction of the Barbaresco zone of production in modern times.

Marchesi di Gresy produces three different expressions of Barbaresco from the Marchesi di Gresy “Martinenga” estate. The first, the Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Martinenga” is the “classic” wine of the three that sees grapes drawn from across the “Martinenga” estate prior to maturation in a mix of French oak barriques and large Slavonian oak casks. The Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Camp Gros”  is the de facto “top wine” of the Marchesi di Gresy winery and uses a special selection of grapes in the best vintages (along with an extended period of maturation) to create truly profound wines.

This, the Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is the third expression of Barbaresco produced by Marchesi di Gresy and is the most “internationally styled” of the three. Made from Nebbiolo sourced solely from a 2.3 hectare block of south east facing vines on the Marchesi di Gresy “Martinenga” estate, this Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is then matured only in French oak barriques for 30 months prior to bottling.

Several vintages behind the current release of this Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga, a limited amount of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga has recently been released.

In the glass, this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is a garnet colour of moderate intensity. Whilst the characteristic rustic discolouration of cellared Nebbiolo was distinct in the case of the 2005 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Camp Gros” recently reviewed, in the case of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga (with another 4 years in bottle) this discolouration is almost absolute. The alcoholic content of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is quoted at 14% abv.

Seemingly denser initially than the 2005 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Camp Gros”  recently reviewed and taking a little longer to open once in contact with air, this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga offers an utterly profound expression of modern Barbaresco on the nose. A core of concentrated red fruit leads this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga before being enveloped by wafting aromas of confectionary, tobacco, leather, vanilla spice and wood smoke.

In the mouth, this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is similarly outstanding. Still upright in its structure, this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga has softened sufficiently to allow the lifted fruit and sweet spice notes to float amongst a web of chocolaty tannins. The elegance of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga (which is now heading towards its peak, albeit with up to 10 years still ahead of it) is a rare thing to behold. The finish of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” is exceptionally long and could hardly be bettered.

In keeping with the other Barbaresco produced by Marchesi di Gresy, this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” should be paired with rich meat dishes, game or hard cheeses.
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Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” DOCG (2001)

Score: 94/100 – This 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is an utterly profound expression of Barbaresco now entering its peak more than 10 years after vintage. Availability of this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is limited now, but if Nebbiolo is your grape of choice, few will better this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun”.

Value for Money: 7/10 – Listed prices for this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga seem to be spread widely at this point in time and will likely increase with further bottle age and rarity. £65 per bottle is an unusually expensive wine, but this 2001 Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Gaiun” Martinenga is an unusually good wine.
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