I’m sure many of you followed us via social on our recent travels and tastings through Bordeaux. We are very excited to showcase those wines with you and many are not in house yet, stay tuned there. So, we’d thought we’d travel a little further East and shine the light on three Italian white varietals that aren’t necessarily household names; From the foothills of the Alps in Northwestern Piedmont, just North of the fabled Barolo lies Roero where the preferred white is Arneis. The North facing slopes create idyllic conditions for producing this “little rascal” aka Arneis. Moving a little Southeast at the edge of Piedmont, 30 miles North of Genoa, close to Liguria is the Gavi DOCG where Cortese is King. Cortese shines here. Finally turning South along the Eastern central coast of the boot, lies Abruzzo. Although Pecorino grows across a wide swath (including, La Marche and Tuscany), the Tiberio siblings in Abruzzo have helped reinvigorate this ancient almost forgotten varietal. Spring has Sprung and these bright, inviting celebratory wines are perfect for the start of the season where more time is spent outside soaking up the World around us.
P. & E. Mullins
2021 Cascina Del Pozzo Roero Arneis
The Arneis grape has undergone a bit of a renaissance over the last 50 years rightly claiming its spot as one of Italy’s great white varietals. Often overlooked in the past, as it was grown alongside the noble Nebbiolo. In fact, often planted next to it to be sacrificed to the birds as it was more aromatic and plumper in the vineyard. The legendary Vietti family recognized the potential of Arneis and helped put it on a pedestal of its own. Now the Arneis grape thrives on the cool North facing rolling hillsides of Roero in Piedmont while the Nebbiolo resides on the sunny south facing slopes and the two grow in harmony. Fifth generation Marchisio family estate of Cascina Del Pozzo shares a beautiful honest expression of Arneis. The vineyards are tended with sustainable practices, organically and with respect to the environment. The grapes are hand harvested, soft pressed and fermented in stainless steel. In the glass this is a bright lemon yellow with crisp clarity. The nose is of fresh pressed olives, straw, and peaches. The palate is bright and juicy with an oil slick texture. There are notes of white pepper and mild cigar on the palate.
2021 Ricossa Gavi
In a Country where red varietals were what classified the wine regions of Italy, Gavi broke through for the whites becoming the first DOCG for a white varietal in 1974. While a pride of Piedmont, this varietal is actually closer to Liguria in geography and style. The limestone soils and microclimate to the region contribute to its aromatic, fruitier and crisper style, a great pairing with the seafood from the coast. The Ricossa family has had a presence in the region since the 1800s and have long standing relationships with growers with many of finest plots in the region. Fermentation of the Cortese takes place in stainless steel and is followed by a short period of aging in the bottle to develop structure. At just 12% alcohol, this a fresh easy drinking white. In the glass you can see the weight of this wine. Pale yellow with a slight haze. The nose is bright with clementine, kiwi, and black licorice. The mouthwatering palate is chalky with fruit punch and a soft fine mineral finish. Elegant and zesty on the finish.
2021 Tiberio Pecorino
Pecorino has been around since ancient times but was nearly forgotten as it’s a low yielding variety. Thankfully the demand of quality vs quantity helped revive the popularity of growing Pecorino in the 70s. Grown in the mountainous ridges of Abruzzo is Tiberio’ family vineyards of Pecorino. The Tiberio estate was purchased by Cristiana and Antonio’s Father Ricardo in 2000. The siblings took the reins in 2008 and have made quite a splash. Antonio focusing on the vines and terroirs while Christina is in the winery producing. Coming from 21-year-old vines on average, this Pecorino is made with free run juice only and fermented in stainless steel. In the glass it looks heavy and golden. Aromas are savory and earthy, reminiscent of pecorino cheese made of sheep’s milk and salt. The palate is big and spicy with green peppercorn, juicy Jonagold apple and salinity on the finish.