2022 Deltetto Roero Arneis 'San Michele'
All Arneis wines are not created equal, especially now that this grape, once seemingly destined for extinction, has become, by far, the most popular and most-produced white wine made in the Langhe region of Piemonte. People, I guess, forgot that it’s a difficult grape to grow and very site-dependent and, just because you can make it, doesn’t mean you can make it well! Our list of favorite Arneis producers is, therefore, short and quite distinguished: Giovanni Almondo’s ‘Bricco Ciliegie,’ for example, is still the standard against which we measure most of the others and Cornarea, Bruno Giacosa, Matteo Correggia and, of course, Vietti will always have homes here. But perhaps the noblest of them all is the Deltetto’s deep, nuanced single-site Arneis from the San Michele vineyard. From an old, very steep vineyard crowned by the San Michele church not far from the winery in Canale, in the heart of Roero, the Deltettos have farmed this spot for generations and made Arneis here since the late Carlo Deltetto Sr. and his son Antonio began bottling it in the 1970s, making it, essentially, one of the oldest of all bottled dry-styled Arneises in Piemonte. This cuvee, the Deltetto’s longest-tenured wine, is fermented partially in wood (30% in new French oak barrels) and stainless steel, making it a more serious, textural version of Arneis than typical, with a fabulous bouquet that links its almond skin and wintergreen aromas with those of Asian pear, stone fruits, honeysuckle, vanilla bean and fennel frond. On the palate, it’s surprisingly rich; more like Chardonnay than Sauvignon, for those who like to compare with the more familiar, but with all of Arneis’ bright, zing-y mineral finish. More than a simple Italian white, it’s the kind of wine you’ll find yourself reaching for whenever the menu features richer antipasti, fresh or salt water fish or shellfish, cheese tarts, Vitello tonnato or poultry. Or enjoy it all by itself! We love this stuff all by its lonesome. Drink now or hold for up to another five or six years. We’ve had some older ones at the winery that have been as fresh as a daisy! And don’t forget the magnums. Each is a party in a bottle!
- Buy 12 or above and pay only $25.00 each