Originating from the Piedmont Region in Italy, Arneis, or 'little rascal' made itself known to me back in the 2019 Vintage when our Eden Edge Riesling grower, Mark Bartholomeus rang me up to see if I was interested in having a crack with some fruit he had left. To be honest, I had vaguely heard of the variety... possibly... maybe....... but made sure in the modern tradition that I said I did and then searched the crap out of it on the internet. Boom! instant expert - fast forward to 2021 we hit the reset button and decided to get serious and happily, the result is pretty bloody good!
1.6t from Mark Bartholomeus' Eden Valley Vineyard.
Total production - 1500 bottles.
Very Bright light new straw with hints of pale apple green.
Nashi Pear, White Peach and hints of citrus over gentle yeast and oak complexity.
A cracking mouthful of GETITINDIA!!! Kicking off this tasteorama is a central core of white peach, Nashi pear and a cheeky hint of citrus. The Autumnal tour-de-force of fruit is magnificently framed with the gentle 'textural' grip of carefully curated tannins from both skin and seriously well seasoned French oak. The richness of the fruit is offset by wonderfully balanced acid that keeps the palate lingering till dawn.
I love having an opportunity to have a crack at a new variety. In 2019, Mark Bartholomeus (who grows the High Eden Riesling for our Eden Edge) introduced me to Arneis with three quarters of a tonne he wanted me to have a go at. To be honest, although I’d heard of the variety, I really knew bugger all about it. Good old professor internet quickly bought me a modicum of understanding and led me to believe we could make a decent fist of it. Turns out it was bloody good! 2021 we hit the reset button and decided to get serious. 1.6 tonne of Mark’s hand-picked golden orbs were delivered late morning on the 24th of March, glistening with promise. Drawing from my Chardonnay experience, we destemmed the fruit through the rollers and drained the free run though the basket press cage. The Arneis was then pressed off overnight with the pressings immediately being mixed with the free fun. The cool juice was filled to seasoned French oak hogsheads and allowed to start fermentation without inoculation. Once it had started ticking it was placed in the cold room and allowed to slowly ferment for just over 4 months. Once primary fermentation was complete it rested on full lees to build texture for another 7 months before bottling. A year and a half in bottle has softened and integrated the fruit and allowed the fresh peachy fruit to shine through. Cheers and Enjoy!