2015 Tua Marina Arneis
Arneis is a funny variety! With a name that translates to the little rascal, I have struggled to find a kiwi example that could capture my attention. UNTIL NOW. A lot of NZ Arneis is grown in Hawkes Bay (Villa Maria sunk big bucks into it a few years back) and while there are good wines these are few and far between. It hails from Piedmont also home to Barbera, Dolcetto, and Nebbiolo and to be honest other than a few producers like Valfaccenda it isn't taken that seriously there either. Tua Marina changes this. Owned by Franzi Grab and Lex Thompson (who you can read about here) this vineyard is planted on the north banks of the Wairau river (almost opposite Herzog) on the Tua Marina Track to Kaituna (hence the name). They met at Lincoln and discovered Arneis while traveling in Italy. While they don't make the wine themselves (it is made at Seresin) they live on the vineyard and farm it organically and holistically and have seemed to find a site perfect for this variety. The wine itself is unique - it is not quite 'natural' but damn close with minimal intervention and only a lick of sulfur at bottling. It is dry, fresh, extremely aromatic (think wild flowers and fennel) and has piercing minerality. Yvonne Lorkin describes it thus: "chalky, bone dry and limey on both the nose and the palate... [it] boasts zingy acidity, racy texture and excellent length."