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2011 Roero Arneis, Cornarea, Canale, Piedmont

2011 Roero Arneis, Cornarea, Canale, Piedmont

White | Drink now | Cornarea, Piedmont | Code:  12567 | 2011 | Italy > Piedmont > Arneis Di Roero | Arneis | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews

OTHER - Arneis, Cornarea, is a fabulous Italian white wine from a specialist in arneis grape from the town of Canale in the variety's home in Piedmont. The acidity is pin-sharp, but there is also rounded, waxy fruit, a viscous textures, and delightful notes of honey and spice and a long, teasing, mineral-inflected finish.
(The Observer Food Monthly -  Nov 2010)

From one of Piedmont's original Arneis plantings in 1974: mineral lift, white flower nose and potential complexity, but so good young.
(Steven Spurrier, Decanter, January 2011) I am often disappointed with the arneis grape as the Italians tend to make them rather lumpy, high in alcohol or too oaked. This has intense citric fruit, good clarity and just a hint of an unusual salty minerally undertone. Surely roero’s best example of the grape – expertly made by the bovone brothers.
Rose Murray Brown - The Scotsman, December 2012.

WILLIAMS - The northwest Italian region of Piedmont is celebrated for the long-lived and rather expensive red wines made in Barbaresco and Barolo. But the sandy soils of nearby Roero also produce some of the country's most attractive whites from a grape variety not much found elsewhere: arneis. This is one of the best I've tried, balancing a slightly honeyed richness of texture with a precise seam of minerally freshness.
(David Williams - Wines of the week - The Observer - 08-Jul-2012)

The Producer

Cornarea, Piedmont

Cornarea, Piedmont

The Bovone family herald from Ovada where they were wine merchants until Gian Piero Bovone bought the Cornarea estate back in 1974. Having studied oenology, Gian Piero had figured out that reductive winemaking was the key to successful white winemaking and so invested in the single vineyard of 15 hectares overlooking the small town of Canale. He then had the foresight to replant almost the entire hill to the white Arneis grape, culminating, in 1981, with their first single varietal wine.

Drinking Cornarea's medium bodied Arneis one's struck, not just by the fresh acidity (there's no malolactic conversion) but by its wet stone minerality that stylistically sits somewhere between Chablis and Vermentino. And such is the significant (phenol) extract and old vine fruit that this wine should age beautifully, as a tasting of 1983 clearly showed.

The key to Cornarea's high quality white wine Arneis DOCG (in north-west Piedmont in Italyis the territorio/terroir: 30 million year old Miocene former sea bed soils rich in marine fossils and magnesium. In fact so rich is the soil in magnesium that a couple of doctors from nearby Canale made their fortune selling salt of magnesium, dug up locally, as a remedy during the late 19th century.
But Cornarea aren't just about Arneis, for they also have 3 hectares of Nebbiolo; fruit that Gian Piero's son and oenologist, Gian Nicola, transforms into Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC  and Roero DOCG wines - very elegant, feminine styles, laced with silken tannins. A perfect reflection of the flour-like soils and rolling hills.

The Grape



Arneis means "rascal" in Italian, and is so named for its ability to beguile the most patient winemakers. It is a  delicate white wine grape that originated (and is still primarily grown) in the Roero hills of Italy's southern Piedmont, just north of Alba ; it thrives in the chalky and sandy soil of this region.

Once nearly extinct, Arneis has made a comeback in recent years. The Arneis de Roero wines received DOC status in 1989 and DOCG in 2006 and production is on the rise, as consumers have come to appreciate its its distinctive apricot and tangerine aromas.

It can produce very good wines with perfumy characteristics of apples, pears, and a hint of licorice. The wines, usually sold as Roero Arneis DOCG.

The Region

Arneis Di Roero

Roero is a wine appellation in Piedmont in north-west Italy, awarded DOCG status in 2006. It is located few kilometres from the villages famous for Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto – and Asti Spumante.

Roero wines include the red Roero (made from 95-98 percent Nebbiolo grapes with a dash of white Arneis), as well as the white Roero Arneis, and sparkling Roero Arneis Spumante.

Red Roero wines undertake a minimum ageing of 20 months, six of which are in wooden barrels, while Roero Riserva must age for at least 32 months.

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