This is such a distinct grape – one which presents a range of flavors and textures that can be equally compelling as they are confusing. Back in the day, think Leonardo da Vinci (big Timorasso fan), Timorasso had been planted and favored as widely as Cortese throughout Piedmont, so it is incredible to learn that this grape was very close to extinction. But one man’s undying passion to save it from the brink brought this grape back into focus. Walter Massa is the man behind the Timorasso revival- re-planting, protecting and producing incredible wines, and the only producer to be found here in the US market for years. Now there are (only) two dozen producers working with it in the area around Turin with some fabulous results and soon a few brave souls soon to be working with it here in California as well. Swoon.
Elisa and Lorenzo Semino are the most recent of five generations of farming and they are all in on hailing the Timorasso grape as the pride and true identity of their region, Colli Tortonesi. In fact, out of the very small number of producers that are now championing Timorasso the La Colombera wines are the most intriguing I’ve had. Massa’s wines are, of course, an incredible benchmark but the last few vintages from the Semino family have raised the bar. I think I can say this with some authority… There can’t be too many people who’ve had the privilege (see: obsession) to have tasted through so many examples of this weird and wondrous grape variety.