Wine For the Fortnight – Pace Roero Arneis, 2011

OK, I know it’s been a lot more than a fortnight since the last wine review.  This one may have been worth waiting for.

Arneis is a white grape from Piedmont in Italy.  Piedmont is a region most known for its red wines such as Barolo, Barbera etc.  The Roero is a range of hills a bit north of the most famous areas where Barolo and Barbaresco are made.  Barbera and Dolcetto are the most well know grapes from the area.

Until about twenty years ago virtually no one made wine from Arneis.  The gape plants were used somewhat like a canary in coal mine.  They were more susceptible to pests and diseases than the red grape plants of the area.  If the Arneis had problems, the farmer knew to keep an eye on the other plants and could take prophylactic measures.

Starting in the 1980’s, and really taking off at the start of the oughts, the grape found favor.  This makes sense as good white wines are not common in the area.  Arneis breaks from the typical mold of Italian whites, which are high acid and low on aroma.  It also tends to have a bigger body than your typical Italian white.

This is the first wine I have had from Pace and it was a nice example, with flavors of pear and a bit of peach backed by a good structure and a long mineral finish.  The aroma was mildly floral and reminded me of orange flowers and honeysuckle.  While not as acidic as many Italian whites, it still is very food friendly.  It would work well with most poultry dishes and any but the lightest of seafoods.  My wife observed that it was a white wine you could serve to people who don’t usually like whites and they would still enjoy it.  At just under $20 a bottle, it was about average for an Arneis.  Enjoy.

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