Arneis: 1 new grape varietal's image of Arneis grapes.’s image of Arneis grapes and their primary growing region: Piedmont.

With all of my work-related traveling this last month we had an opportunity to shop at a retail wine shop large enough to have new varietals for us to try.  It took a bit of control to not fill the car with many different wines, that would have been the ideal. Instead, we chose two bottles of one varietal: Arneis from Northwest Italy’s Piedmont region.  This is a white grape with the name meaning ‘little rascal’ in Italian; must be a joy to grow.  It has historically been added to Nebbiolo to soften the tannins but has been made into single-varietal white wines during the last several decades.  The wines were from two different regions in Piedmont, one north (Roero) of the Tanaro River  and the city of Alba, the other south (Langhe).  The descriptions of the soils and topography of the area differ significantly so I anticipated differences in the wines. Can you believe I didn’t take a picture of the bottles?  Not sure what I was thinking about, sheesh!

  • The Langhe Region’s Donna Anita 2013 Arneis is perfumed with asian pear, orange blossom and honey with a bright, crisp acidity.  As I prefer my wines with more intense acidity this was my favorite.
  • The Roero Region’s Mauro Sebaste 2013 Roero Arneis is medium bodied, reminding me more of nuts and apples with a muted acidity.  Hubby thought this wine was the better of the two.

Apparently we are now going to put traveling to Italy (no sense in limiting where we go once there) on our short list of anticipated adventures just to really understand these wines.  After a stalled year of new grapes we are happy to have another to check off of our Wine Century Club list. For now, the immediate issue is to make some room in the wine cooler to accommodate more bottles should we have the opportunity to make another stop like that last one! Cheers!

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