The Piedmont region in Italy’s north is mainly red wine country, famed for its Nebbiolos, Dolcettos, and Barberas. But Piedmont also deserves to be on your radar for its whites, including wines from the popular Gavi denomination and the lesser-known and often more distinctive Roero Arneis (Roero being the area and Arneis the local white grape variety).
One that stands out is Giovanni Rosso’s exquisite 2020 Roero Arneis, which seems made for seafood and charcuterie and is also delicious on its own.
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It appears that bottling Roero Arneis is somewhat unusual for Giovanni Rosso, located in the heart of the famed Barolo zone and whose website proclaims, “We make only red wines, and our passion is for Barolo and its great grape, Nebbiolo.” It’s clear from tasting this Roero Arneis why the winery decided to depart from that rule, at least in this vintage.
The $22 wine has unusual complexity, with notes of apricot, green apple, lemon-lime, and a hint of strawberry, all punctuated by a wet stone minerality and refreshing acidity that give it texture, structure, and persistence on the palate.
Made without oak, and with alcohol at a moderate 13 percent, the wine is intriguing yet effortless — a perfect summer sipper that you’ll want to have on hand as a go-to white wine.
Also worth considering: Giovanni Rosso’s superb 2017 “Donna Margherita” Barbera d’Alba, a fresh and juicy red wine with plum and red fruit notes that will pair well with all kinds of pasta dishes.
They are two more examples of the great range of Piedmont wines, which, for everyday drinking, go well beyond the region’s Barolos and Barbarescos that scoop up most of the acclaim.