Immediately distinctive, TIMORASSO is one grape not trying to be anything great. It just simply is.
You haven’t tried it yet ? Are you MAD…don’t let another day of 2017 pass you by.
And once you’ve experienced its fermented juice for the first time…well, ’nuff said. That’s how it was for us a few months back following our first encounter with Claudio Mariotto’s PITASSO 2013
From that moment on, we’ve been primed to seek out and taste more. Particularly the wines from the cellar of VIGNETI MASSA. Proprietor and winemaker, WALTER MASSA is the cult figure behind the rebirth of TIMORASSO. Once the go-to white grape grown on the hills of Tortona, it fell on hardtimes as post-war 1950’s Piemontese winemakers responded to commercial demands for the quick and easy.
Thing is… TIMORASSO is neither quick or easy. Vigourous though the vines growth may be, its fruit set, and significantly its grape yield, are generally uneven. During those tough years, with financial necessity biting, most growers turned to other local natives like Barbera, Cortese and even internationals like Chardonnay for more certainty and salvation in the vineyard. In modern ‘Villagers’ speak, this left TIMORASSO on the sideline with a ‘sandwich and a beer’.
Decline was speeding toward extinction when in stepped Massa. It was the 1980’s. The tail-end of the 20th century. Disco was on the way out. New wave and post punk were in. Independents and new romantics were too. The ground-swell for freedom of expression was palpable. For Timorasso and Walter Massa the only way was up. Convinced of its long untapped potential, Walter took it upon himself to single handedly reset the hillside landscape of Tortona.
By the mid 1990’s his ‘Power of Love’ for TIMORASSO encouraged others to join the band. Names like Mutti, Poggio, Bruno, Ferretti, Boveri, Ricci, Semino, Daffonchio & Mariotto. Today they’ve swelled to 23 producers and under their unique standard bearer ‘DERTHONA’, TIMORASSO is fast becoming recognized as one of modern Italy’s most sought after white wines.
– Classified Vino Bianco, Table Wine –
To the eye it’s golden straw. Rich buttery tones drizzled on stones bleed into fragrant yellow roses and mimosa, elegantly honeyed with a gentle mist of fresh apricot skins. Its fullsome body on the palate projects lemon and lime onto a polished mineral foundation. No complexity just yet. However the structure makes promises we’re sure it will not forget. And all with no oak! Only stainless steel and stirred on its fine lees for 10-12 months. Real, youthful worthiness.
– Single Cru Vineyard, Vino Bianco, Table Wine –
Intense, radiant, luminous gold. Complex aromas of earth and dusted spice. Delicate dried floral bouquet plays coy with a rich, creamy rub of honey and dare we say musk. Counter balanced by the fresh acidity that hits the palate with a lively citrus and sea-salted beat. Evolved and evolving, Sterpi is a seductive, complex, capitivating and alluring single vineyard wine. Kinda like a Wine made with Mermaids in Mind …Royal worthiness!! …IOHO :)
He uses indigenous yeasts and is not afraid of skins contact… 24-48 hours, or so we’ve heard. The wines are remarkably classified as simple ‘vino bianco’ table wines. Don’t be misled.
So what difference does it make?
Absolutely flippin’ everything :)