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The Arneis Grape


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About Arneis

(Synonyms: Bianchetta di Alba, Bianchetto, NebbioloBianco)

Background

Map showing the Piedmont region of Italy.

Arneis is a white-wine grape originating in the Piedmont region of Italy. Today, it is the featured grape in white wines from the Roero appellation (a Roero Arneis must, by law, be 100% Arneis). There are now also some plantings in the U.S. and, of late, in Australia and New Zealand.

Arneis can be difficult in the vineyard (the disease powdery mildew is a problem), plus the wines have a tendency to oxidize readily (hence its Italian nickname, “little rascal”). That last is the reason that Arneis declined substantially in the middle 20th century, down to a mere few hectares in the ’60s; but in the later part of that century, winemakers found that careful choice of vineyard location—on chalky, sandy soils—gave the wines more acidity and structure, while sandy clay soils augmented its aromas. And better winemaking techniques (always slow to come into play in Italy) have much reduced the oxidation problem. Thus, the wine has had a major revival in recent times ()plantings are now up to around 650 hectares), and is today seen as one of the premier white wines of Italy.

(One man, Alfredo Currado of the Vietti family, more or less single-handed rescued Arneis through tireless experimentation and crusading for its cause.)

Arneis wines are made in both oaked and unoaked versions. The oaked ones are, naturally, somewhat more full-bodied, while the unoaked renditions tend to be more aromatic and perfumed.

Factoid: Arneis is actually allowed, by Italian wine laws, to be used as a blending grape in Nebbiolo (a famous red wine) in the Roero appellation; though it was so used in the past, it is rarely so today.

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Some Descriptions of Arneis Wines

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Some Arneiss to Try

(About this list.)

Vietti Roero Arneis

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Giacomo Fenocchio Roero Arneis

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Giovanni Almondo “Vigne Sparse” Roero Arneis

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Angelo Negro e Figli Roero Arneis
(This maker produces numerous Arneis bottlings: this is their basic version.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Cordero di Montezemolo Langhe Arneis

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Arneis wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.