Mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer for minimum purchase of 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) per producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 (+$2 if order less than $400) or more & $6/bottle for 6 (+$2 if order less than $200) per producer.
Our tasting impressions
Another strong showing for Ugo's Arneis. I find the '18 chalkier and considerably fruitier. It also has an added dimension of liveliness that I find very engaging. An outstanding Piedmont white that will do well at your dinner table or as an aperitif. In magnum format, it's great for entertaining.
About this wine
100% Arneis from the Guarene commune. Yields are 60-70 hl/ha. The grapes are gently pressed then fermented in steel tanks at a temperature of 64°F. It is released no sooner than 3 months after bottling.
This could be labeled Roero instead of Langhe. About 7,000 bottles are produced.
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
Mostly good weather throughout the 2018 season that featured a cool start and a very warm conclusion. Volume was up from the prior year and quality was high.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Ugo Lequio started his boutique winery in 1981 despite not owning any vines. He lived in view of Gallina, one of the great vineyards in Neive producing Barbaresco. He had to persuade a vineyard owner to sell grapes to him. The Marcarinos had much of the most cherished plots around Cascina Nuova. He was able to purchase Barbera from them initially and after many years he succeeded in acquiring their prized Nebbiolo, which had previously gone to Bruno Giacosa, one of the legends of Langhe wines in Piedmont. The vineyard has optimal exposure, altitude and soil composition.
Ugo does almost everything himself including oversight of vineyard management. His grape selection is painstaking and his winemaking very traditional. He ages his wines longer than the regulations stipulate and does nothing to alter the natural alcohol levels.
He is a true artisan, crafting incredible wines. We tasted an Arneis that had barely begun fermentation (it looked like a cloudy unfiltered beer) yet it had unbelievable delineation and balance. Ugo is his own man, a rightfully proud man who is so deeply devoted to making extraordinary wine.