The Arneis Vigne Sparse (from “scattered vineyards”) comes from three tiny parcels on the estate, including the historic Burigot, which the Almondos have farmed for more than a hundred years; the red earth Pe’ del Can; and a few rows on the lower slope of the Bric Valdiana. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks, and matured on the lees for five months before bottling.
In the glass (not too, too cold), the wine has a pale, yellow-peach color, with flashes of green gold at the edge. Aromas of ripe Bartlett pears, sun-warmed white peaches, Queen Anne cherries, and citrus blossoms emerge when the wine is poured, then alternate with fleeting, compelling aromas that include crystallized green apple peel, elderflowers, and coriander as the nose evolves in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is juicy and broad, at the same time crisp and vibrant, with a layered core of exotic white fruit, lemon-lime citrus, and salt roasted fennel that echoes the developing nose. A racy core of berry acidity seasons the long clean finish, which is punctuated with fine-grained, cracked sea-salt mineral grip.
About this wine producer: The Almondos have grown grapes in Roero for more than three centuries, but it was Domenico’s father, Giovanni Almondo, who was the first to bottle the wines. There are six hectares of Arneis, the noble white variety of Piemonte, along with four hectares of Nebbiolo for the Roeros, one-and-a-half hectares of Barbera, and a tiny parcel of Brachetto which goes into the classic, slightly sparkling, pale sweet Fosso della Rosa. Giovanni Almondo still works in the vineyards, but day-to-day operations are in the hands of Domenico and his sons, Stefano and Federico, who are all uncompromising perfectionists in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Lovely crisp, not clying. Not a big Chardonnay but much more interesting than Pinot Grigio. Not as buttery as the Soave