Marchesi di Grésy's Barbaresco Martinenga is a renowned Barbaresco from the 12ha Martinenga vineyard - a monopole owned by Marchesi di Grésy since 1797, and one of the zone's most prized vineyard sites.
Fine, gently floral nose with wild cherry and redcurrant fruit. Spicy and lifted with notes of dried herbs. More sour cherry fruit on the palate, which combines richness and structure with dried fruit characters. Fresh acidity gives balance, and the finish is complex, savoury and textured with integrated oak.
This Barbaresco Martinenga pairs perfectly with robust meats (both red and white) or aged cheese. Its tannins and full body also make it a great match for pastas and sophisticated dishes like risotto and game.
|Style||Dry, Red, Full Bodied, Red Fruit, Dried Fruit, Spicy, Savoury, Herbaceous and Floral|
Vineyard and Winery
Barbaresco Martinenga takes its name from Marchesi di Grésy's Martinenga vineyard situated in the commune of Barbaresco. This single vineyard (of 11.93ha) has the shape of an amphitheatre, with Asili to the west and Rabaja to the north-east. These south-southwest facing vineyards have a favourable microclimate, which allows the production of high quality grapes even in potentially difficult vintages. The vineyards are situated at 280 metres above sea level, and the soil is calcareous, with blue marl and a small percentage of sand. The vines are trained using the Guyot system and planting density is 3500 to 4500 vines per hectare. Hand-harvested in early October. Ideal yield is no more than 6 tons per hectare. Vinification on skins - 8-10 days fermentation with floating cap followed by 20-30 days maceration with submerged cap, and daily pumping over. Malolactic fermentation is carried out at controlled temperature following alcoholic fermentation. The wine is aged in 225 litre French oak barriqes for 12 months and then 50 hl Slavonian oak casks for a further 12 months. Further ageing in bottle before release.
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About the Nebbiolo Grape
Nebbiolo Wines are perfect for enjoying with good food and close friends. Maybe consider limiting the number of friends though, it's rarely cheap stuff!
Nebbiolo's roots seem to be firmly based in Piemonte in North West Italy, especially since it is not very widely planted elsewhere. The two main sub-regions in Piemonte for Nebbiolo are Barolo and Barbaresco but it is grown all around the North West with fine examples coming from Langhe and Lombardia. The first recorded mention of the grape is under the name Nibiol back in 1266, 700 years before a terrible thing happened to Scottish Football fans.
The name derives from 'nebbia', Italian for fog and it is thought that this is either because of the thick natural bloom that covers the grapes when ripe or from the fog that often covers the Piemonte hills around harvest time.
The Nebbiolo vine is a pretty fussy when it comes to the soils in which it is planted and would appear to prefer the calcareous marl in Piemonte. In the conditions this region provides it can be vigorous, producing a good yield of grapes that truly express their terroir. Due to the quality potential and market value Nebbiolo is always planted on the best south-facing slopes in order for it to achieve full ripeness.
There are some successful plantings in Australia, California in the USA, and Argentina and there has been relative success in the small vineyard area planted in Mexico but probably around 90% of the world's Nebbiolo grapes are grown in Italy.
There are still a few Barolo wines made in the traditional way which draws arguably excessive tannin from the Nebbiolo grapes meaning the wines need time softening with extended aging in Oak Botti. Botti are large wooden tanks designed to age the wine gracefully without too much oak influence on the final wine. Modern Nebbiolo is generally more fruit driven in style with more efficiency in the winery meaning shorter maceration times, shorter fermentation and earlier bottling after more concentrated oak aging. The wines are often more accessible in youth though most still also age beautifully.
Food Matches for Nebbiolo
Italian cuisine is best for matching and as a wine from the north of the country with good fresh acidity, Nebbiolo is a great food wine. The grapes are late season ripening and have that sense of place the French call Terroir, so seasonal Autumnal produce makes for a cracking pairing. Pasta or Risotto dishes with mushrooms, squash or pumpkin pair very nicely with the earthy, floral and diversely fruited flavours of Barolos and Barbarescos. This earthiness in the flavour profile of the wine is also good with polenta and chickpeas.
Eating Game is particularly rewarding when washed down with good Barolo or Barbaresco, especially with seasonal vegetables all cooked in oodles of butter. The herbal nuances in the wines are also very helpful on the wine pairing front.
Cheeses local to the region are a fine match too, Fontina from the Valle d'Aosta is a particular favourite but Nebbiolo wines are good all round as a cheese and charcuterie accompaniment.
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