Demarie. Roero Arneis
Roero Arneis DOCG
A lovely vintage for Arneis which produced a wine with a glorious fleshy texture, notes of peach, apricot and kiwi, a touch of almond on the finish. A polished and lovely fresh white. An excellent aperitif, perfect with salads and light dishes. 13.5%
Arneis was an extremely popular grape for centuries, it suffered badly in the interwar years as the countryside became de-populated and grape varieties that were easier to work took hold. Producers had been put off by its susceptibility to disease and the absolute precision required for the harvest time (a day late and the acidity can be lost). By the 60s it was almost impossible to find Arneis and it had been relegated to a member of the ‘Ucellini’ family of vines whose role was to keep birds off the main crop.
I suspect much of the recent success of Arneis is down to Barolo producers adopting it as their white wine of choice. Arneis grapes were bought from their neighbouring Roero district so that they could make Roero Arneis in their own cellars. The producers of the Roero have now wrestled back the name, and regulations stipulate that Roero Arneis DOCG can only be made within the Roero region.
Demarie's vineyards are farmed organically (official status is ‘under conversion’), they face southeast and lie between 70 to 250 metres (above sea level). The soils are clay with a high content of chalk and sand covering fossil rich limestone, this is the classic terroir of Roero Arneis DOCG. The vines were planted in 1980, guyot trained at a density of 3200 plants per hectare.
The harvest is done by hand, grapes are transferred to the winery in small crates and given a short cold maceration before de-stemming, a soft-pressing and a temperature-controlled fermentation using selected yeasts.