Monday, February 11, 2013

Damilano 2011 Langhe Arneis

Arneis is an ancient grape from the Piedmont region in Italy. It’s name translates to “little rascal.”

This little rascal of a wine is quite tasty. For the adventurous wine lover, it is a welcome departure from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

We picked this bottle up from Middle Ground Market, which is located at the Oliver House in Toledo. This is my third tasting of Arneis, which is not always easy to find, so I opened the bottle with anticipation.

In the glass the Damilano Arneis is a pale golden color. On the nose there is a bit of cut grass. There were small bubbles in the glass, suggesting a bit of effervescence, but it wasn’t apparent when sipping began.

The wine is light to medium in body. There is a steely acidity, but the level of acidity is much lower than a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or a good dry Riesling. For me the flavors hit more of the lower, deeper flavors than I expected. The predominate flavor note was pear.

Stylistically, Green Dragon compared this to a California Sauvignon Blanc. Those wines don’t feature the tangy citrus flavors and the mouthwatering acidity of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

This Arneis is from the Langhe DOC in foothills of the Italian Alps, but Arneis also has found a home in the Santa Ynez Valley and Russian River Valley in California. The grape performs better in cooler wine regions.

For $22, this is a nice purchase that would do well with a nice seafood dish or pasta with a white sauce.

Rating: 3 of 5  Value: 2.5 of 5
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