NV Deltetto ‘N’ Rose de Noirs Brut VSQ-Metodo Classico 3 LITER
It was Antonio Deltetto’s passion for Champagne that changed the fortunes of the winery he took over from his father in 1980. He had the idea he could make good sparkling right there from his own vineyards in the Roero, an idea most of his peers at the time thought a little crazy. But, with perseverance (he laughingly says he couldn’t even give away his early experiments), he proved the naysayers wrong, and now Deltetto is considered the gold standard for sparkling wine in the Langhe and proudly featured on every good wine list in the region. As the farming for the sparklings has moved from the Roero hills to the cooler, better-suited Alta Langa, quality has continued to skyrocket. The cuvee that first captured our imagination at PRIMA, many years ago, is this gorgeous Rose. One of the most unique sparkling wines you’ll ever taste from Italy, it’s made exclusively from Nebbiolo, although you’ll never see that on the label. Because that grape has no legal standing in the production of sparkling wine, Antonio says, instead, it’s made from ‘a local grape.’ Light in terms of its pinkness, but as flavorful and deep as it gets, it’s kept for 48 months on its lees giving it a lovely balance between its charming fruit and a bracing backbone of fine acidity. Redolent of raspberries, blood orange and violet pastilles, there’s all the finesse of a Blanc de Noir Champagne with the backend oomph one gets only from Nebbiolo. Its finish is remarkably long with a lovely tang as a coda. Though we don’t either Antonio or his co-enologist son Carlo to get too much of a swell head, there is some seriously good winemaking here. Carlo says he likes his Rose best with Parma ham and Mozzarella di Bufala, preferably drizzled with some good olive oil, but, as proven at Casa Rittmaster, it goes very well with just about everything, hence it’s usually the first wine out of the fridge on Thanksgiving.