Roero’s Malvirà in Italy’s Piedmont: New Releases of Single Vineyard Arneis and Nebbiolo

Tasting the single vineyard Arneis and Nebbiolo wines from Malvirà brought back pleasant memories of our visit to the winery in Canale while working on our Roero report. That’s when Roberto Damonte presented the wines at the Hotel Villa Tiboldi surrounded by estate vineyards (shown here). In this article, we review the current releases of these wines.

Established in the 1950s by Giuseppe Damonte, this estate is run today by brothers Massimo and Roberto Damonte.  This is one of Roero’s larger wineries with 43 ha of vines, 30 of which are in the Roero appellation. They are located in 8 different vineyard sites, mostly in Canale, including the historic Vigna Renesio. The San Michele vineyard has 80 year old vines. Roberto and his son Giacomo are the winemakers, while Massimo manages the vineyards.

The US Importer is Indigenous Selections.

Roberto & Massimo

The Wines

Malvirà 2019 Renesio Arneis Roero 92  The Damonte family began farming this special, historic (it was famous for its wines in medieval times) vineyard in 1985, the first vintage of the Malvirà Renesio Arneis. Fermented and aged in stainless steel with about 8 months on the lees, the wine is soft and lush with notes of fresh and dried pear, white peach and fresh garden herbs. Although Arneis is not a high acid wine, this one is fresh and crisp, superbly balanced, and refined in character. 13% alc 

Malvirà 2019 S.S. Trinità Arneis Roero 90  Grown in the sandy soils of the Trinità vineyard, this is an Arneis that’s easy to drink with pleasant melon, pear and almond aromas and flavors, a full round mouthfeel, and nice acidity that provides a firm backbone. It’s a food friendly wine that can also work as an aperitif. 

Malvirà 2018 Vigna Saglietto Arneis Riserva 91 Vigna Saglietto is a particularly vibrant Arneis. It reveals a complex melange of white peach, almond, a hint of Cointreau, and a light toasty note. The palate is crisp with a stony minerality and a persistent finish. The fruit comes from the Saglietto vineyard with its calcareous clay soils. Matured 10 months half in stainless steel, half in 450L barriques.

Malvirà 2016 Vigna Mombeltramo Roero Riserva 92  Dark ruby red. This single vineyard Nebbiolo comes from the Mombeltramo vineyard, which has especially calcareous soils. It opens with a bouquet of red plum and cherry with floral notes. These are mirrored on the palate with herbal and earth notes. It shows good depth and superb balance with a silky texture and firm tannins. The wines from this vineyard are particularly austere in their first years of life, and it shows in this bottle. They’ll soften with time, and we recommend cellaring this bottle a couple of years. 14.5% alc 

Malvirà 2016 Vigna Renesio Roero Riserva 93  As usual, the calcareous clay soils of Renesio produce our favorite of the Malvirà single vineyard Roeros. It offers superb freshness on the nose with light red berries and fresh plum aromas. It’s silky on the attack with a refined texture, firm structure and excellent balance, finishing with persistent red berry notes and fine, tannins. 14.5% alc 

Malvirà 2016 Vigna Trinita Roero Riserva 91  Medium ruby red. Sourced from the sandy soils of the Trinità vineyard, this Nebbiolo begins with a delicate, floral, rose petal and red berry scented nose. The attack is soft, and the palate is silky and elegant with fine firm tannins. Firm tannins argue for cellaring this wine at least a couple of years. We loved the 2007 vintage of this wine after a dozen years of aging. 15% alc 

Malvirà 2017 Barbera d’Alba 91  Dark ruby red. Effusive savory, earthy and rich black and red fruit aromas and flavors. Smooth and silky on the attack with a full, broad palate of concentrated dark earthy fruit. Rich extract on a prolonged finish. 14.5% alc. 

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