Friday, 4 May 2012

Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay, Langhe DOC (2009)

Marchesi di Gresy is a highly successful producer based in Piedmont, North West Italy. With vineyards planted in the location of some of the Marchesi di Gresy vineyards since Roman times, Marchesi di Gresy began vinifying and releasing its own wines (as opposed to simply growing wine grapes and selling them on) in the early 1970s.

Today at Marchesi di Gresy, a wide range of wines is produced. Traditional grape varieties such as Nebbiolo and Barbera contribute to Marchesi di Gresy’s renowned range of red wines, of which Marchesi di Gresy’s Barbaresco “Camp Gros” and Marchesi di Gresy’s Barbaresco “Gaiun” are the most profound. Although “international” wines from varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc (reviewed here) and the Chardonnay that comprises this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay are also produced.

As always, oak (or lack of it) is the defining winemaking choice when it comes to producing Chardonnay and at Marchesi di Gresy two different Chardonnays are produced with differing winemaking styles. The “basic” Marchesi di Gresy Laghe Chardonnay is vinified simply and with no oak contact, whereas this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay experienced 20 months in new French Allier barrels.

The two Marchesi di Gresy vineyard sites that contribute Chardonnay fruit to this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay are both south facing and are located at 250 and 320 metres above sea level.

In the glass, this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is a clear golden hue. This 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is notably richer in colour than the “basic” 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Langhe Chardonnay, or the Marchesi di Gresy Langhe Sauvignon Blanc previously reviewed. The alcoholic content of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is higher than for most whites from Piedmont at 14% abv.

The aromas of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay are rich and opulent. Ripe stone fruit is the basis of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay and is very well integrated with notes of vanilla and a touch of toffee. Comparisons of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay to Meursault could easily be made.

To taste, this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is the richest and weightiest of the three Marchesi di Gresy whites sampled this vintage, with a good level of minerality assisting a moderate level of acidity in keeping the luxurious palate of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay flowing. White fruit and oak notes again abound across the palate of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay, which is impressively long.

The ripe and rich style of this 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is versatile and when it comes to food pairing, selections as diverse as chicken in a cream-based sauce, white fish, or even goats cheese will work well.
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Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay, Langhe DOC (2009)

Score: 91/100 – This 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is exceptionally impressive with integration and length that is highly desirable. A sound structure will should see this cellar well for up to ten years from vintage in good conditions.

Value for Money: 8/10 – This 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is priced at a level (£22 per bottle) that is around four times the price of the average Chardonnay sold in the UK. This 2009 Marchesi di Gresy Chardonnay is however a good deal less expensive than the white Burgundy and Californian Chardonnay it is destined to compete with. Few examples of Chardonnay this good come cheaper.
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