In this paper, a model reference control based inertia emulation strategy is proposed. Desired inertia can be precisely emulated through this control strategy so that guaranteed performance is ensured. A typical frequency response model with parametrical inertia is set to be the reference model. A measurement at a specific location delivers the information of disturbance acting on the diesel-wind system to the reference model. The objective is for the speed of the diesel-wind system to track the reference model. Since active power variation is dominantly governed by mechanical dynamics and modes, only mechanical dynamics and states, i.e., a swing-engine-governor system plus a reduced-order wind turbine generator, are involved in the feedback control design. The controller is implemented in a three-phase diesel-wind system feed microgrid. The results show exact synthetic inertia is emulated, leading to guaranteed performance and safety bounds.