Bruna Grimaldi Arneis 2017
Growing grapes and crafting high quality wines have always been Bruna Grimaldi’s family tradition. Born and raised in the hills that link Grinzane Cavour to Serralunga d’Alba, in the heart of Langhe, Unesco World Heritage, Bruna Grimaldi is a small family-owned winery that since the early 60s produce authentic and terroir-driven wines. Careful work in the vineyard, commitment in the winery, respect for the environment are key aspects of Bruna Grimaldi’s philosophy: a passion for wine that has been handed down for decades in Langhe region where the best plots are selected for the production of Barolo. This history talks about the territory, in full respect of the tradition.
The estate farms organically 14ha (34 acres) of vineyards in the Barolo region and in the neighbouring villages. Bruna and her husband Franco have been recently joined by their son Simone, enologist, and Martina, who both proudly represent the fourth generation and whose aim is to continue the family tradition of producing soulful wines.
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.
Yielding a dry and subtly scented wine, Arneis is the star white grape of Piedmont. Though the grape has been local to Roero since the 1400s, it didn’t experience real popularity until the 1980s when local demand for white wine exploded. Somm Secret—A few key Roero producers are also focusing on exploring the ageability of high quality Arneis. It is only grown outside of Piedmont to a very limited extent.