The Wine Front, December 2013, Mike Bennie.
First Drop Wines VIVO Arneis 2013
I’ve said it before, will say it again, it sometimes feel like it’s a two-horse race for cool stakes between vermentino and arneis in the newer white varieties floating around the Australian domestic wine production scene. For me, arneis is the clear winner from early efforts – more textural interest, more aromatic interest, takes on different winemaking permutations well and offers more in glass when done well. The best vermentinos in Australia so far show some complexity, but not to the loftier (comparatively) heights arneis can scale. Of course this is all pretty much generalisation and putting egg before chicken in some respects. This from First Drop lads and the Adelaide Hills.
Distinct anise/fennel character over lime, floral notes, cucumber. It’s darn fresh and vital in bouquet, and the vibe is echoed in the tight, chalky-textured palate. Flavours drag long, it’s easy to drink, finishes with gently sweet pear fruit character and has a clarity and purity that feels good. Texture builds with pithiness and talc-like minerality and it finishes with a nutty, briny saline quality. It’s not overly complex, but enough to be compelling, and the flavour profile holds interest coupled to the perfume. Good work. Good drinking. Like this a lot.
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