The old expression that there is no place like home, is so true, especially after holidays and I stopped at my kind of home away from home, that is The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. It was an extremely fun, lively and informative session and this Raconteur took a back seat to another Raconteur and I enjoyed the entire time. They were having a wine tasting and I was able to meet Thomas Cuni the Brand Manager for Damilano Azienda Agricola Srl. Thomas Cuni was born and raised in Northern Italy and is quite passionate about the wine industry. He has been in production, import and distribution and direct to consumer sales in the industry. He studied Food Science Technology and Oenology in Bologna (the oldest University in Europe). After ten years working in both New York City and Los Angeles, he returned to Italy to take over the export business for the historic Damilano in Barolo for the USA, Asian and European markets.
Damilano Azienda Agricola is located in the La Morra district Barolo. The family business dates back to 1890 when Giuseppe Borgogno began producing wines from his own vineyards. It is one of the jewels of Langhe area, and in 1997 the winery was passed on to his grandchildren Paolo, Mario and Guido who are still striving to constantly improve the wines, each and every vintage. The estate has fifty-three hectares, and they produce four single vineyard wines from plots in four Barolo Cru vineyards. They also produce wines from outside of Barolo as well.
The first wine I tasted after introductions was the Damilano Arneis Langhe DOC 2021. Arneis is in the Roero area between Langhe and Monferrato. Millions of years ago the region was salty water up to the Alps, as the water receded the seabed became the deposits of sand that the Roero hills are located. Arneis is a white grape from the Piedmont, and it was almost extinct, and is now enjoying a revival. In the old days, many of the wine growers would have vineyards of Arneis surrounding the Nebbiolo plantings for protection. By the Sixties there were only a few hectares still planted and with the new interest Arneis has become synonymous with Roero, and is affectionately referred by some as “White Barolo.” Damilano had their first vintage of Arneis in 2006 and today the average age of the vines are twenty years. The fermentation of this wine is in Stainless Steel is for twenty days and then aged for two months. The straw yellow wine offered notes of white florals. On the palate, where one would expect a delicate wine, this wine has body, moderate acidity and tones of pears, apricots, apples and a nice finish of terroir and hazelnut. As we were discussing this wine, I mentioned that I still have maybe six bottles of another Arneis wine, and this one just surprised me on so many layers, we had a couple of different discussions of this wine with different people and all agreed that this wine was special and a great value.