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 luminous, medium gold color, with flashes of green gold at the edge. Aromas of ripe Bartlett pears, sun-warmed white peaches, Queen Anne cherries, and lemongrass emerge when the wine is poured, then alternate with fleeting, compelling aromas that include white peaches, crystallized green apple peel, cardamom pods, 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 Almondo family has cultivated vineyards and orchards in Roero for hundreds of years, but Domenico and his father, Giovanni, were the first to estate bottle their production in the early 1980’s (their first vintage in 1981 totaled 1500 bottles). Since then, the estate has acquired some of the most expressive parcels of vineyard land around the tiny town of Montà d’Alba - nearly fifteen combined hectares of Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Brachetto. Along with his sons Federico and Stefano, Domenico’s meticulous vineyard work and sensitive approach in the cellar make it no surprise that the Almondo family is considered the single best producer in Roero.