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  • Writer's pictureLushmuddled

Berton Vineyards Aranel 2019

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Riverina, NSW, Australia


On a recent road trip through regional NSW, my wife and I stopped by Berton Vineyards in Griffith. Just for a sticky beak and a taste. We were lucky enough to have our tasting with Leigh, whose background is in winemaking and production, and had a great chat about the wines. She is clearly passionate. One of my favourite things about passionate people is that the second you show even a small interest, the dam walls burst and you get hit with a flood of information.

“Do you guys want to try our Aranel?”

My reaction was, as you can probably guess, wtf is Aranel?

It is a super rare white variety and apparently only grown in the Riverina region of NSW outside of its home in Languedoc and Provence. Official sources state that only Domaine de Lunard and Domaine du Chapitre make varietal wines out of it, which would make Berton just one of three wineries making an Aranel, and doing so under the radar. The grape itself was created in 1961 by crossing Grenache Gris and Saint Pierre Dore, itself an incredibly rare variety.

At $16.00 per bottle, the price certainly invites an easy purchase for interest’s sake if nothing else. It is certainly a fragrant wine, but not overly perfumed. White petals, freshly squeezed lemon and lime appear on the nose. The palate is clean and fresh, with under-ripe nectarine, river stones and green pear, with a gentle acid holding things together. If I had to compare it to something you may have had before, I would have to say a Vermentino. It is a simple, clean and fresh white wine, great for easy dinners where you’re looking for something friendly rather than something fancy. You are definitely getting a lot of value here and I can't see anyone not enjoying this wine. You won’t find revelations in the glass, but for the price it isn’t fair to expect them. It is a solid wine for the money and I enjoyed it immensely. I'm absolutely ordering some more. But is it a good example of Aranel? Having only had this one, I honestly couldn’t tell you. But this is not the most important question. The most important question is how can I try some others?

Rating: ★★★★

Have it with? I am vibing Mediterranean antipasto/mezze in a big way. Roasted capsicum, white anchovies, fresh sourdough...

Classic, weird or funky? Rare grape, but still classically made.

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