2017 Brovia, Roero Arneis DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
Brovia’s 2017 Arneis is as good as it gets for this Piedmonte white grape and is a world class offering with lovely mineral tones, crisp detail and lightly exotic notes, this is absolutely delicious stuff and that is very interesting and pleasing in the glass. Arneis that since the nineties has been on a roll, coming back from near extinction to being one of the most exciting white wine grapes in Italy, and this Brovia version is a gorgeously pure expression from its most distinctive terroir in the Roero zone. According to records and family history, Brovia was originally founded in 1863 near the village of Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of the Barolo district. The Brovia family has been continually growing of grapes in this famous region and now the fourth and fifth generations are continuing the tradition and now have some top plots in Cru sites, making some glorious Nebbiolo wines from Barolo with top bottlings coming from Rocche, Villero and Garblét Sue. The Roero Arneis, as importer Rosenthal notes, the sole white wine of the estate is made from vines in the Roero district from a tiny parcel in Vezza d’Alba, where the soil is sandy over marl and sits pretty high up in altitude on south-facing slopes, a slightly cooler zone and with good sun. The vineyard was planted in 1980 and it gives good concentration and complexity of flavors, which this 2017 shows in wonderful transparent grace and with vibrant lift.
Brovia employs gentle winemaking practices and strive to showcase a sense of place in all of their wines and the Arneis grapes are briefly macerated with a touch of skin contact and the fermentation occurs at cool temperatures for two to three weeks, with the wine being fermented and aged only in stainless steel with about 8 to 9 months in tank and with some light lees, which allows for the refined textural feel. Luck for the United States, about three fourths of the total production comes here to be enjoyed by Italian wine enthusiasts and most of them get sold through restaurants, highlighting the fact that Arneis is a great companion to cuisine, especially fish and delicate pasta dishes, though it is flexible and be used as an aperitif wine and or enjoyed with soft artisan cheeses. This vintage is dry and vivid with ripe fruits which is including a mix of citrus and stone fruit, like white peach, key lime, nectarine flesh along with hints of wet rock, chalkiness, anise and faint white floral notes in a brisk and lively white wine. I love the Brovia collection, especially the basic Barolo normale, which is a stunning value in most years and their Dolcetto, as well as this fine Roero Arneis, it is a fun alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, drink it up!
($29 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive