2018 Deltetto Roero Riserva Braja


Current stock: 15

2018 Deltetto Roero Riserva Braja

Roero Rosso has come an awful long way over the past several decades.  Once considered the poor step-child of nearby Barolo and Barbaresco, it has gone on to earn its DOCG and production standards have vastly improved and a consistency of style and quality has emerged.  The vineyards are located on the opposite side of the Tanaro River from the Langhe’s bigger names and are grown on rolling, rather than steep, hills layered with sand, gravel and ochre-ish colored clay.  It took years of trial and error by the dozens of dedicated producers in the district to dial in just how the Nebbiolo grape should be grown and produced here to achieve the true distinction and consistency now being achieved by the best estates.  Stylistically, a great bottle of Roero is more like a fine bottle of Barbaresco than a Barolo. with plumper but more elegantly expressed fruit, impressive depth and similar potential longevity. 

Despite their sterling reputation for amazing sparkling wines from the Alta Langa (still available of course) and their benchmark S. Michele Arneis (ditto- but almost gone), the Deltetto family of Canale, in the heart of Roero, have done an impressive job with their Roero DOCG as well.  They make two from their vineyards in the Santo Stefano Roero district, the best sites in the area, including their prized single-vineyard expression Antonio Deltetto calls Braja or ‘shout’ in Piemontese dialect.  Organically farmed (and certified as such) and aged for 24 months in a combination of smaller barriques and larger casks, it’s the perfect example of how exciting a Roero red can be.  Garnet in color, the nose is filled with cherry confit, baking spices and floral notes. It’s medium- to full with an almost Burgundy-like finesse and beautifully articulated tannins.  Chunky and satisfying, drink it, I think, as you might a top Langhe Nebbiolo. Alto Piemonte red or Barbaresco with richer, more primary fare, roasts, duck confit and, definitely, with dishes based on wild mushrooms. Absolutely delicious and, we suspect, very ageable too!