Have you ever seen an Arneis made like this? Not at all: it took Sergio Marchisio to extract another unsuspected soul from the white that has historically relaunched the fine viticulture of the Roero. The Marchisio Family’s “traditional” Arneis was already very different from the others: explosive aromas and scents all its own, thanks to the indigenous yeasts and natural organic treatments, with the extra gear represented by the biodynamic alchemy that increases, year after year, the fertility of the soil, among the herbs and flowers. But the latest wine from the cellar goes even further: full and rich, very soft, rounded in a spontaneous way, overflowing with sunshine. And capable – another sensational novelty – of surprising longevity, for Arneis. The secret? Simple: the ceramic amphora.
Pioneer Sergio Marchisio (a great experimenter, the first to vinify Nebbiolo in amphora) has made the Caucasian pottery a bet: to bring wines back to their primigenial origin, protected by the terracotta that leaves them young forever, and sheltered from thermal stress, guaranteeing breadth and length, towards theoretically infinite refinement and never signs of old age. In 2019 the first experiment, with just a thousand bottles: Arneis vinified in steel and then transferred in amphorae for its evolution. «The consensus was so unanimous – says Sergio – that, after the 2020 harvest, we took the next step: Arneis vinified directly in amphora, on the skins». Ten quintals of grapes, transformed into must and then into wine, left in ceramic “eggs” for even 9 months. The result? Spectacular: the Roero Arneis that you would never expect, even if you immediately recognize the unmistakable varietal character of the vine.
«I believe in the potentialities of ceramic amphora», wagered Sergio Marchisio, one year ago, also talking about red wines usually aged in casks: «Amphora does the same “work” of barrique, but obviously it doesn’t release the hints of wood which could alter the olfactory and gustatory balance of the wine, tasted in purity». In the case of Arneis, it is steel that has been replaced: the result is vaguely reminiscent of the soft touch guaranteed by cement, but with an extra “natural vibration” and a very different, dazzling vitality. Only ceramic, in fact, can preserve the full integrity of the fruit, without attenuating the exuberance of the wine. The challenge has been won: in its brand new label, completely redesigned, the Arneis 2020 in amphora “warns” you, from the first sip, that you are about to taste a sort of magic potion, with an inexhaustible power to surprise. And this is not the end of the story: «Our real challenge is this: to make Arneis a long-lived white wine, with the ability to grow with time: it must be appreciated even after 6-7 years». The conditions are all there: all that remains is to taste it!