If you have never tasted Arneis, just remember that all discussion of the noblest white grape variety in Piemonte begins and ends with Domenico Almondo. Then imagine an aromatic Rhône Viognier, blended with a limestone-infused Saint-Véran from Gilles Corsin, which was somehow made by Dominique Roger in Sancerre. If you can do that, you won’t be surprised by “Vigne Sparse,” an electrifying wine – sometimes called “il Barolo Bianco” (the white Barolo) – redolent of lemon-lime citrus, ripe Green Anjou pears, wild fennel and white flowers, with plenty of flesh and mineral extract, and a long, elegant finish.
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.