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Demarie Sabbia Orange wine, Piemonte, 2019

Demarie Sabbia Orange wine, Piemonte, 2019


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Still Dry White Wine

Oak-aged orange wine made from fragrant white Arneis. Tastes of apricot stone, marzipan cake and almonds

Sabbia is a boutique orange wine that has won high tasting scores from experts like James Suckling (92) and Jancis Robinson (16.5), because it’s totally delicious. The secret of Sabbia is that it’s a white wine produced like a red wine. The grape juice remains in contact with skins and seeds during fermentation, and ages in French oak barriques. The resulting wine offers mesmerising aromas and flavours of almonds, apricots and green tea. The flavour is much closer to Sherry Amontillado, which sees oxidative ageing in solera, rather than to the traditional white Arneis (which is protected from oxygen at all cost).

Most importantly, the method turns it into an age-worthy wine that can happily rest in your cellar for 5-7 years. Thanks to its flavours, Sabbia will pair really well with scallops or oysters, as well as with sweet and sour Indian or Chinese dishes.

The Arneis grapes for Sabbia are harvested by hand from a small vineyard in Vezza d’Alba in Roero (Piemonte). This plot of land has been cultivated by the Demarie Giovanni family for three generations.


The white Arneis grapes are crushed, and the juice is fermented in contact with seeds and skins for 20 days, without temperature control. After this, the wine undergoes slow post-fermentation maceration for 15-20 days to extract even more delicate perfume from the skins. Then, the wine is poured into small 225-litre French oak barriques to age for four months. Here, Sabbia develops its wonderful orange hue and a complex set of aromas and flavours. After that, Paolo Demarie performs another important step: he puts the oak-aged wine back into large stainless steel tanks for four months so the flavours can integrate and develop. After bottling, Paolo keeps the wine for at least four months in his cellar before releasing it to the market. Sabbia is produced in a very limited quantity of only 6,500 bottles per year – which is mostly sold in Italy. This is a rare orange wine which is hard to get.

Tasting notes

In the glass, this wine has a translucent amber colour. It offers aromas of honeysuckle, green tea, marzipan, apricot stone and almonds. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied with a visible texture, and a medium level of alcohol. It’s not too acidic, which is typical for Arneis. Each sip of Sabbia leaves a beautiful long finish of almonds and apricots in the mouth.


James Suckling – 92/100 points | Jancis Robinson 2020 — 16.5/20 points | Annuario dei migliori vini italiani 2020 — 88/100  points

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