Our tasting impressions
Very bright and fresh with a citrus and spice nose. This seems almost weightless but the crisp mineral flavors are very persistent. It will quickly make you forget any Arneis wines you have had that were clumsy and plodding. Delightfully refreshing!
About this wine
100% Arneis from vines planted up to 20 years ago in San Vito di Montà Alba at 330m and trained in the Guyot system. The grapes are harvested in the middle of September and de-stemmed and given a soft pressing.
Fermentation is about 12 days at 16°C. The wine remains on its lees for 4 to 6 months before being bottled and released 2 months later
About the grape
Arneis is just recently rediscovered as of the 80’s. Previously it was almost extinct. What little was being grown was used for sweet wine, for blending or worse, planted to attract birds and pests away from more prized Nebbiolo vines. Not easy being a white wine grape in a land of valuable red wine grapes.
It is a challenging, low-yielding crop susceptible to mildew, disease and oxidation. The grape is closely tied to Roero, which 70,000 years ago was underwater, so, like Chablis, the soil is comprised of lots of marine fossils mixed into sand and limestone.
Arneis is sweet, savory, briny, minerally, very floral and low in acidity. It’s rather full-bodied and creamy. You have to love the name, which translates to little rascal, even if it refers to how difficult it is to cultivate.
About the vintage
It was a mild and very dry winter, which continued until May when heavy rain persisted well into June. Moderate summer temperatures combined with the early season dryness helped avert hydro-stress. An uneventful conclusion to the 2020 growing season resulted in reasonably good yields and very good to excellent grape quality.
Daniele's suggested musical pairing: Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Mario Pelassa and Maria Teresa Pelassa established their Montà d'Alba wine estate in 1960. For the remainder of the century, they sold their wine to grateful clients in northern Italy.
When their sons took charge, the scope and ambition grew. Daniele makes the wine and is a tour-de-force in global marketing and sales. Davide prefers to stay close to the land and manages the vineyards. From their 15ha in Roero and Verduno, they now concentrate on three grapes - Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis and produce 100,000 bottles per year.
Daniele sub-titled Pelassa Romantic Wines of Piedmont. We are particularly enamored of his inclusion of musical pairings for each of his wines (which we will faithfully convey to our members). It is appropriate because his wines so beautifully inspire intellectually and emotionally.