Ah, the Piedmont. Before recently, most of my experience (and it has been limited) with Italian wine has been from Tuscany and Chianti Classico. So a little tour of the other Italian regions began with yesterday’s trip to Friuli and it continues here, in Roero Arneis, Piemonte.
This, dear readers, is a special wine.
First, the color in the glass is almost clear. There is a very slight straw yellow, but very light, very clear. Sauvignon Blanc-esque, if you will. On the nose is an awesome mix of notes I called “trail mix.” It’s a really incredible mix of dried fruits (like apricot, especially), nuts, and a yeastiness I usually attribute to, and associate with, sparkling wine.
No shocker, as it turns out. While the 2008 Vietti is by no means a sparkler, immediately upon sipping the wine, you get a light effervescence that hints at the bubbly. If you swirl hard enough, on occasion there is a bubble or two, but make no mistake: this is a still wine.
The notes on the palate are apricot and peach, mostly. The wine is off-dry and acidic—just enough sweetness to be really interesting, and all the necessary acid to balance it back out. This Arneis would stand up to the biggest, garlickiest pesto dish, and still hold its own.
The light bubbliness of the wine is a major attraction, but all in all this is simply a very enjoyable, very clean and crisp white wine. Even if you are not an off-dry/sweet white fan, the acidity here makes it work, so I would recommend that even you give it a shot. I know I’m glad I did.