For those of you not familiar with the beautiful Arneis variety, which now flourishes and is best sourced from the small region of Roero DOCG (2005) just to the north of Alba, this refreshing and gorgeous white wine is the drink of choice for the landlocked Piedmontese who crave the just caught diversity of seafood trucked in daily from the nearby Ligurian coast.
Roero [roˈɛːro] Arneis DOCG is made from the Arneis grape, a white, indigenous grape variety, that has existed in the area since 15th century. The Cornarea winery, named after the famous Cornarea Hill (1000 AD), was the first one to invest in the effort to save this species of vine, as at the beginning of the 1970s it had almost entirely disappeared. In 1975 Cornarea planted the variety on twelve hectares of the sloping hillsides of Cornarea Hill overlooking the small township of Canale. Its disappearance was due to the difficulty of producing the finicky Arneis wine without adequate technologies. In fact in Piedmontese the word Arneis means “naughty boy”. Nowadays Roero Arneis represents the strength and the deliverance of the wine-producing Roero area, of which Canale is ground zero for this variety.
A straw yellow color, this wine has an intense aroma of white flowers, bosc pear and apricot, with an underlying nuance of ash-like minerality. Repeated on the palate, this dry Arneis is mouth coating, grows in richness, is well balanced and very elegant. The finish hints at extended skin contact which complements the wine’s unique minerality thanks to the presence of magnesium found abundantly in the Cornarea hill soil. Last night with grilled black cod. Honestly, we have enjoyed many, but not a better Arneis from Roero.