Winery/Vineyard: Hart Family Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Arneis
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Jim Hart
3.7 out of 5 stars on Vivino (all vintages).
Double Gold, Best of Temecula Valley AVA at 2016 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition (2016 vintage).
Silver at 2019 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition (2018 vintage).
Silver at 2019 Winemaker Challenge (2018 vintage).
How They Describe It
Arneis. A little-known grape variety native to the Piedmont region of northern Italy, where limited plantings of the grape exist; California acreage is even more limited. Arneis produces dry, scented wines dominated by aromas of peach and apricot, with evanescent background notes of almond. Made dry, in the Italian style, it is an excellent food wine.
How I Describe It
The Hart 2019 Arneis is a clear, pale golden hay color. The paleness is an indicator of its aging in steel tanks — common for winemaking — which preserves white grape varietals’ natural hues.
Pineapple, guava, and mango dominate the nose. Still, strong undertones of lemon, apricot, pear, and sour apple permeate. Hazelnut and almond are there, along with peach blossom, but both are subtle.
Flavors of lemon and tart pineapple are most dominant in the Hart 2019 Arneis. However, a layer of mango, almond, pear, and sour apple are far from muted. Hints of grapefruit and rosewater blend into the palate, while a slight honeyed beeswax mouthfeel remains on the finish.
The 2019 Arneis is dry, and a 13.8% ABV alcohol is medium. While traditional Arneis has a reputation for lower acid content, acid in Hart’s version is a pleasantly tart medium-plus. The wine has medium body with pronounced flavor and aroma intensity. Finish is medium-plus.
Why is This Wine Special?
Grape varietals from the Piedmont region in northern Italy are popular in Temecula. We already know Hart makes a mean Barbera, and it doesn’t take long to hunt down some outstanding Nebbiolos, or even a rare Cortese. Arneis is yet another Piedmontese varietal, though fairly difficult to find in the United States (For instance, the local Total Wine & More in Temecula carries only two Arneis wines, compared to 240 Sauvignon Blancs, and both are imports).
I love how aromatic Arneis is. Its stone fruit notes rival Viognier and warmer climate Riesling, and the tropical fruit is akin to New Zealand or California Sauvignon Blancs.
In addition, I really like the higher acid style Hart produced its 2019 Arneis in. It lends a unique crispness which complements the fruit notes, which truly needs to be experienced.
When & How I Would Drink It
The 2019 Arneis is an outstanding wine for warm afternoons and easy drinking. I found it tastes amazing alongside sushi. And if you’re just snacking, give it a try with a bowl of Garden Salsa flavored SunChips®. It’ll also go well with creamy foods (e.g., fettuccini alfredo) and lighter proteins, like chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish.
Personally, I would snag a bottle of the Hart 2019 Arneis before Thanksgiving, in particular if you’ll have access to leftover turkey. I can think of no better pairing than a chilled glass of this wine next to a sandwich made from leftover turkey (and possibly other Thanksgiving accoutrements — like stuffing — if that’s your thing).
How to Get It
Order Online: http://vinhart.com/product/arneis-temecula-valley/
Bottle Price: $28 (discounts for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 286 cases
Have you tried the Hart 2017 Arneis? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.