2021 Arnot-Roberts, Falanghina, Dry Creek Valley AVA, Sonoma County.
Arnot-Roberts’ Falanghina, which they have been doing since the 2016 vintage, is a beautiful version of this Southern Italian white grape with loads of character and unique charm, it shows pretty floral aromas, steely mineral, apricot and a mix of citrus fruits, along with an almost creamy textured medium body, but retaining bright intensity. Grown on Dry Creek’s Volcanic schist soils and at about 200 feet of elevation this wine takes advantage of the warm Mediterranean like climate here, though giving this grape its own personality, which the guys at Arnot-Roberts were very successful showcasing here. This lightly spiced rarity is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and or Chardonnay, with a bit more subtlety than Viognier, it is great with a flexible range of cuisine, but best with sea foods, including fleshy white fish, mussels and or fresh seared scallops. This golden/yellow Falanghina looks and feel like it saw a touch of skin maceration and doesn’t show any obvious wood, though it looks to have done thorough at least some malo-lactic and aged on the lees for short time.
In Arnot-Roberts notes that go along with this wine, they say that Falanghina is an ancient white grape variety that traces its roots to the Campania region north of Naples in Southern Italy and according to the writings of Pliny the Elder, wines from the Falanghina grape were highly valued in Roman culture. This delicately aromatic varietal is commonly found in sites from the Amalfi Coast to Rome. The first plantings of Falaghina, as Arnot-Roberts continues, are thought to have been planted by Greek settlers as early as the 7th century BC. There is very little Falanghina is planted outside of Italy, and to best of the winery’s knowledge, this Handal-Denier vineyard is the only parcel of the grape in Sonoma area. The vines, which date back to 2011 when Mr. Handal planted them, were chiseled into the side of a steep volcanic hillside in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley just outside of the town of Healdsburg, which is none to different from some of the parts of Campania where it flourishes. Arnot-Roberts continues to craft an outstanding collection of wines, with their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah forming a quality core of offerings that should not be missed, but their Trousseau, this Falanghina and their Rosé of Touring Nacional are also rewarding efforts I always look for.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive