One of the revelations of 2020 for us was a number of wines made in northern Italy from the Timorasso grape variety. We offered the 2018 vintage of Walter Massa’s Timorasso Derthona in September 2020. It was such a success and in such ongoing demand that we bought more to offer again in May 2021.
In late June this year, we finally tasted together in the office the 2020 Timorasso Derthona, Vigneti Massa and were, unsurprisingly, blown away again by the quality of this remarkably affordable wine. It is difficult to express the value here. This is a white wine of character, personality, fruit concentration, mineral intensity and reverberating persistence. And it is a mere £110 per 6 bottle case in bond.
To recap, Timorasso is an obscure Piemontese grape variety that has essentially been rescued from extinction by a group of dedicated growers, most notable of whom would be Walter Massa. It is an historic grape variety that was referenced back in the Middle Ages and said to be grown around the town of Tortona, some 50 miles east of Alba in north-west Italy, which also leads to its labelling as 'Derthona'. The area known as the Colli Tortonesi lies close to the border between Piemonte and Lombardy, Liguria and Emilia-Romagna.
What is particularly fascinating about Massa's Timorasso - and something most definitely in evidence in the 2020 as it was the 2018 - is that the relatively opulent, expressive fruit character makes for a wine that is immediately appealing and very more-ish, while the underlying mineral tension and structure are indicative of a wine that will certainly age in bottle for a number of years. This is a very compelling wine.