I bought a parcel of an outstanding Barbaresco a good few years back and for some reason I never offered it. It has sat in our stock for some time with a few bottles opened with the team or with clients. In fact, we polished off a case last night at a team dinner – it was exceptional.
As I bought it on release, I can offer at a very attractive price of £330 per 6 bottle case in bond, compared to our listed value of £525 per 6.
Marchesi di Grésy, or to give it its full name, Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy actually comprises four estates across Piemonte and boasts a history that dates back to 1650. The jewel in their crown is the Martinenga vineyard in Barbaresco, which is a monopole, owned by Marchesi di Grésy since 1797! The Martinenga vineyard is extensive – and comprises a natural, south facing ampitheatre that stretches around the winery. It is bordered by two of the very finest Cru, Asili to the west, and Rabaja to the northeast. The soils are limestone and blue marl, bringing out terrific elegance in the three Barbaresco produced from this single vineyard. Marchesi di Grésy produce Camp Gros Martinenga and Gaiun Martinenga from special parcels of vines within the vineyard, and the straight Martinenga is produced from the rest.
The Gaiun selection comes from vines situated to the western side of the vineyard at an altitude of 230 to 290 metres. Unlike the other two Barbaresco that are matured in either large oak botti or a mix of large oak and barriques, the Gaiun is matured entirely in French oak barriques, of which approximately 30% are new. It is invariably a remarkably sleek, refined Barbaresco – its elegance and vibrant nature is a contrast to the more brooding, powerful Camp Gros.
And don’t be put off by 2014 not being a touted vintage; Barbaresco performed better in 2014 than neighbouring Barolo and some truly superb wines were made. Antonio Galloni commented as follows on vinous.com back in 2017:
‘The 2014 Barbarescos confirm all the potential they showed as recently bottled wines a year ago. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully delineated, the 2014s capture the essence of what makes Nebbiolo so compelling. In short, the 2014 Barbarescos speak to the essence of site as expressed in one of the most unusual growing seasons in recent memory. Most, if not all, of the region’s reference-point producers made memorable wines…The early press on 2014 in Italy was quite pessimistic, which means the 2014s may struggle to gain acceptance in the market. Savvy readers will want to seek out the best of these wines before their quality becomes widely apparent.’
Gaiun made it into the top dozen or so wines that Galloni tasted in that vintage, scoring 96 points.