Marchesi di Gresy La Serra Moscato d'Asti 2020
Straw yellow with greenish reflections. Intense, fresh and fruity aromas with notes of peach and sage. Harmonious, the balance of acidity and residual sugar give this wine a very pleasant drinkability.
Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy has been owned by the di Grésy family since 1797. The estate includes four properties located in Langhe and Monferrato, home to Piedmont’s greatest wines. Before the 1960s the estate operated like a traditional farm, producing livestock, vegetables and fruits - including grapes. At the time, the grapes were sold to the finest wine producers in the area, as was the tradition in the Langhe. In the early 1970s Alberto di Grésy realized the potential of his vineyards and decided that he had to vinify his own grapes.
In 1973 he produced his first vintage with the objective of transferring the class and character of the terroir, vineyards and varietal into the bottle, using the best available technology and respect for tradition. In 2013 Alberto’s son and daughter, Alessandro and Ludovica di Grésy began their adventure in the family’s winery working alongside their father. To this day, Marchesi di Grésy only vinifies grapes coming from their properties, 111 acres of vineyards divided among the Martinenga, Monte Aribaldo, La Serra and Monte Colombo estates.
Of exceptional note, the Martinenga vineyard is one of the Langhe’s finest and the largest single owned "monopole" in the region and has been owned by the di Grésy family since 1797. Martinenga is known for producing some of the finest cru-designated Barbareschi. It is planted with the Nebbiolo sub-varieties Lampia, Rosé and Michet, whose mix produce the most elegant Nebbiolo wines. With its southern exposure, blue marl soil and elevations from 820 to 918 feet, the Martinegna cru possesses ideal growing conditions and allows Nebbiolo fruit to reach full maturity even in difficult vintages.
The Monte Aribaldo estate, the first to be property of the family dating back to 1650, rises between Treiso and Barbaresco and overlooks the valley of Martinenga. Dolcetto d'Alba, Chardonnay and Sauvignon are grown here, at an average elevation of 1,200 feet. The La Serra and Monte Colombo vineyards in Monferrato are planted with Moscato d'Asti, Barbera d'Asti and Merlot (Monferrato Rosso). The clay-based soils here and the microclimate are optimal for the finest red wines.
The vinification and aging of all four estates occur at Martinenga and in 2000 the family decided to expand the cellar to facilitate this. In order to minimize the environmental impact on the surrounding hills, the cellar was built entirely underground. In October 2019 the family opened dai Grésy in Langa, a luxury agriturismo and spa located at the Monte Aribaldo estate.
Recognized as the source of the best Barbera in all of Italy, Asti is a province (as well as major city) in Piedmont, consisting of a gentle, rolling landscape with vineyards, farmland and forests alternating throughout.
Barbera d’Asti can be made in an array of styles from relatively straightforward, fruity and ready for consumption early, to the more concentrated, oak aged version with an ability to cellar impressively for 10-15 years and beyond. Some of the very best sites for Barbera in Asti are concentrated in the subzone of Nizza Monferrato. Other red varieties grown here include Freisa, Grignolino and Dolcetto, which can be bottled varietally or blended into Barbera.
Historically consumers commonly associated the Asti region with Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti, both playful, aromatic, sparkling wines made from the Muscat grape. Asti Spumante is less sweet, fully fizzy and more alcoholic (yet still clocking in at only around 9% alcohol) while Moscato d’Asti is sweeter, gently sparkling (“frizzante”) and closer to 5 or 6% alcohol. Each is produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh and fruity flavors of the grape, often including peach, apricot, lychee and rose petal. Asti is also the spot for the pink-hued Brachetto d'Acqui, a slightly sparkling wine ready to charm with its raspberry and rose flavors and aromas.
While Muscat comes in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and even fortified, it's safe to say it is always alluringly aromatic and delightful. The two most important versions are the noble, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, making wines of considerable quality and Muscat of Alexandria, thought to be a progeny of the former. Somm Secret—Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing Muscat.