One of the wines that emerged as a clear favorite at the San Diego Natural Wine Summit two weeks ago was Bera’s “Arcese.” It’s a slightly sparkling white wine from Piedmont, in Northwestern Italy, from a growing region most famous for the production of Moscato grapes.
Bera focuses on organic growing approaches and is imported by one of our heros, Joe Dressner, a top importer of natural wines, who writes on his site: “All of the estate is cultivated in organic viticulture with an emphasis on creating an active, healthy ecosystem. All grapes are harvested by hand and their juice is fermented without yeast inoculations. All the winemaking is done by Alessandra’s brother, Gianluigi Bera.”
The Arcese is made from Piedmont’s noble white grape, Cortese, together with Favorita (the Piedmontese name for Vermentino grapes), and Arneis. (Check out Eric Asimov’s post yesterday on Vermentino A Touch of Chablis in Italy, btw.) Even though Cortese can be used to produce a superior, fine white wine with structure and longevity, here it is used to give beautiful fruit and floral notes to the wine. The Vermentino gives it great acidity, making it a great food wine. And the Arneis — the rustic, “defiant” white grape of Piedmont, called Arneis or “difficult” because it can be temperamental — gives the wine a gorgeous grassy, aromatic note. We’ve been told that the name Arcese is an acronym of these grape names (although we’re still getting to the bottom of that!).
A lot of people said it was their favorite wine in the natural wine summit tasting and we’re now featuring it on the list at Jaynes. Great with seafood: people don’t normally associate Piedmont with seafood but Canelli where this is grown is only an hour and a half from the Ligurian coast and the region has long produced the noble white grapes (hence the name Cortese or “Courtly”) served in the fine seafood restaurants of the Italian riviera.
You might be surprised at how affordable it is and it’s low alcohol content makes it a perfect summer outdoor wine.
THIS JUST IN: Jaynes will be holding its first official wine dinner with a guided tasting led by guest sommelier Jeremy Parzen PhD on Tuesday, September 29, details to follow. We’re still working on the theme but the event will be a small intimate affair featuring a flight of our favorite wines at Jaynes. Send us an email to reserve a spot in the meantime.