Tenuta la Marchesa

Italy, Piedmont

The villa 'La Marchesa' after which this estate is named was built in 1750 by the owners at the time, a Genovese banking family, in order to keep their daughter happy for her forthcoming wedding day. It is now in the hands of the Giulini family, who have installed a brand new wine cellar with the most up to date vinification techniques, whilst maintaining the character of the original villa. Situated a mere 40 km from the sea, the soil on the estate is a clay/limestone mix and greatly influences the character of its wines. After a brief flirtation in 1998, L&S went back in 2014 and has shipped these wines consistently since then. You can visit their website here.

Lea & Sandeman made me question my disdain for Gavi, one of Italy's most famous and in my view overrated whites. Still not cheap, but definitely not overpriced, Tenuta La Marchesa's offering delighted me because their extreme elegance was paired with great length. Rather than 'light', these wines are filigree, and have a unique style impossible to find anywhere else. What brought me up short was the fact that in the past I may have demanded more concentration of these wines and, in the process, wholly undervalued and misunderstood most Gavis. (Notes from the L&S Italian Tasting of February 2020) Walter Speller, www.jancisrobinson.com  (Apr 2020)