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Piemonte Italy

Walter Massa

Five generations of Massas have laboured tirelessly to keep the Timorasso flame alight; it’s not difficult to see the origins of Walter’s frustration.  Here on the steep hills just east of Tortona grow the last few hectares of Timorasso in the world.  An ancient variety with tiny yields and immense concentration, it ought to be served by the glass in every restaurant with even the slightest aspirations to a decent wine list.  The Timorasso ‘Derthona’ is initially shy in the glass but develops red apple, apricot and tangerine with time.  Extended lees contact gives it a creamy mouthfeel often mistaken for oak (there is none) and the acidity will keep it developing in bottle for ages.  Last year Walter opened a 1979 Timorasso and it was in rude health.

"I absolutely loved this white wine and found more aromas and flavours, and more pleasure, as I drank it over the course of a few days. My first tasting note was as follows: 'Very inviting spiced honeyed nose and some creamy, lightly spiced aromas as if it had some oak influence (though I'm told it's unoaked). Nutty, citrus, with just discernible floral and apricot notes. Full of flavour and yet restraint, cool and fresh and lingeringly elegant and aromatic. Very well made.' As the week went by, I found even more flavours emerging – white flowers, ginger, mineral and still nutty. I also noted a firmness in the texture but it was still alluringly creamy. Long, powerful and sophisticated with a gently floral finish." Jancis Robinson on discovering the rare wines made with Timorasso.