Last month, we had the pleasure of featuring the lively and exuberant Barbera d’Alba from the Deltetto winery in our red wine club, and we were equally floored by this lovely, chamomile-scented Arneis! In fact, we are eager to try everything Deltetto puts their stamp on at this point! As a refresher, the Deltetto family are fourth generation winemakers based in Canale, the heart of the Roero appellation in Piedmont, Italy. Their first vines were planted to Barbera and Nebbiolo on a farmstead in the late 1800s, and post WWII in 1953, Carlo Deltetto established a winery and began planting vineyards on the hillsides of the three noble towns of Santo Stefano, Canale and Castellinaldo. In 1977, Carlo’s son, Antonio, fresh out of oenology school, joined the family business and turned its focus to Roero Arneis and Nebbiolo; he also got a head start in the Italian sparkling wine game by experimenting with Metodo Classico or Champagne method wines based on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo in the early 80s. Antonio’s spumante wines weren’t marketed until 2000, after which they garnered wide acclaim and are now considered some of the best in the country, partially due to his practice of extended lees aging (up to four years). Today, Carlo is joined by his wife, Graziella and their three children: Carlo (II), Christina and Claudia. The family farms 50 acres of certified organic vineyards throughout Roero and the Langhe, producing an impressive portfolio of wines.
Delicate aromas of chamomile, bruised pear and red apple skin give the impression that this 100% Arneis might be a simple, dainty white. On the contrary, a mouthwatering acidity engulfs the palate accompanied by vivid flavors of lemongrass, kumquat, wet minerals and more of that sweet, ripe pear. We’ve encountered many Arneis in our time, and this is one of the more dynamic and invigorating versions that is just as refreshing as it is food-friendly. This would be delicious alongside crisp green salads, shellfish, roasted fish or citrus-marinated chicken.