2020 Angelo Negro 'Vino Bianco'
Region: Roero < Piemonte < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar stats: Certified organic farming; grapes are cryo-macerated for 8-10 hours then fermented with native yeast in stainless steel. Wine matures in stainless steel for at least 4 months; bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Giovanni Negro
The Arneis grape has a long and varied history filled with vicissitudes of fate. The legacy of the varietal goes back to the 15th century in Piemonte. At one point in history it was an esteemed varietal grown alongside the 'King of grapes', Nebbiolo. In the 20th century, when land become quite expensive, the variety was pulled out of vineyards through out the countryside almost to the point of extinction. Arneis means "cheeky" or "rascal" -- a very appropriate name for the variety that is notoriously finicky in the vineyard. The 1980's brought about a renaissance for Arneis, which is now on tap every trattoria and cafe throughout Northern Italy. Angelo Negro is a historic producer in the Roero area of Piemonte. The estate has been dedicated to preserving tradition through native varietals since the 1600's. The Negro family has a deep connection with the Arnies grape, Giovanni Negro was the first to bottle dry Arneis in 1971. Since then, the estate has continued to specialize in single-vineyard Arneis. These wines have always been strictly organic, and the family estate was one of the first to be certified in Piemonte.
Pale gold and cloudy, this wine looks rustic and natty, but it is surprisingly fresh and versatile, with grapefruit, apple and bitter almond. Just give it a shake, serve chilled and meet your new 'go to' winter white. If you were in Alba, you'd be pairing this with local specialties Vittelo Tonnato and Bagna Cauda. But until we can get back to Italy, a bright salad or simple french omelette at home is a great match for the zesty acid and energetic fruit profile of this wine.