Unchartered Italy: Timorasso DOC, Piedmont

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Vigneti Massa Derthona 2009

5. Timorasso DOC, Piedmont

Timorasso is a grape that ought to have a wider audience. It has everything going for it: opulent aromas, full body and great acidity. It can do oaked and unoaked styles with equal aplomb and it is capable of developing impressive complexity with age. Two things possibly holding it back are scarcity and unfamiliarity. On the subject of the latter, its cause is not helped by a degree of confusion over the name. Timorasso may be bottled under the Colli Tortonesi DOC, with or without an indication of the grape. Derthona, the name of a proposed new DOC for Timorasso which hopefully will come into force next year, is also used by some producers, either alongside the existing DOC or in one case for a table wine. However it is labelled, Timorasso, which was virtually wiped out by phylloxera at the start of the last century and only retrieved from obscurity in the past 15 years, is by far the most characterful of Piedmont’s native white varieties, knocking spots off the lean and one dimensional Cortese and the soft and simple Arneis.

Claudio Mariotto, Pitasso, Derthona, Colli Tortonesi 2009

Peach, pineapple and lime aromas, with a light, toasty oak background. Intense palate, beautifully bone dry, concentrated and juicy with citrus and minerals in the long, mouthwatering finish. 18pts/20
Price: £15.40 Christopher Keiller
Drink: 2012–2020
Alc: 14.5%

Vigneti Massa, Derthona 2009 

Slightly closed nose, with a touch of acacia, camomile and white peach. Precise, crisp, mouthwatering palate; long, intense finish with green apple hints and great mineral concentration. 18pts/20
Price: £17.49 Theatre of Wine
Drink: 2012–2020
Alc: 13.5%

Other recommended producers:
Franco Martinetti, La Colombera, Mutti, Pomodolce

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