Tuesday, 1 October 2019

When did you last try a chilled glass of aranel?

When did you last enjoy a chilled glass of refreshing aranel?

Ara what, you may well ask. 

Aranel is an extremely rare grape variety - so rare there have only been two versions produced in Australia; one by Tempus Two that I have not tried and appears to have been discontinued, and this rather delicious version from Berton Vineyards in the Riverina. 

The 2019 Winemakers' Reserve Aranel costs just $14 a bottle, which puts in the the bargain basement bracket for fresh, crisp and light summer whites. 

Amormatic and quite delicate, this is a wine for enjoying chilled so best to sample its stone-fruit and lightish citrus notes. 

So what is aranel? 

It is a rare hybrid variety that originated in southern France and is grown in just one vineyard in the Riverina. 

Aranel is obscure even in the Languedoc and Provence and is derived from Grenache Gris and Saint-Pierre Doré (an almost-extinct white grape from the Auvergne region). 

The crossing was made in in 1961 by amplographer Paul Truel - but it is grown today only in tiny parcels. The variety is directly related to the ancient Goais Blanc (from which chardonnay was derived). 

Winemaker James Ceccato has done a great job here; the 2019 has vibrant acidity and engaging subtlety and is extremely food friendly. 

The wine underwent a period of 10 weeks on yeast lees with a small portion going to medium-toasted French oak puncheons to provide creamy and vanillin notes to the palate. 

It weighs in at just 12.5% alcohol by volume and is very moreish. Be the first one on your block to try it. 

Berton Vineyards 2019 Winemaker's Reserve Aranel $14www.bertonvineyards.com.au

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