Thanks a lot, Otto Forsberg, now I need to cellar Timorasso as well

We went to the beatifull country east of Tortona. Well it was a fantastic experience
Initially we came to Piedmont to see the Asti Palio, but we had some spare time
Well spent in Timorasso country

:smiley: No problemo, my pleasure!

How many Timorassos you got to taste? Any favorites?

Your post came at either the perfect or the worst time for me - I’ve just started getting into the world of interesting Italian white wines and now I have another on my list to seek out. Would love to hear your timorasso recommendations. I’ve seen them occasionally in the langhe, but haven’t spent much time outside of the langhe in the piedmont. Where is timorasso country?

Just east of Tortona. You are still in Piedmont

We visited Claudio Mariotto and Vigneti Boveri Giacomo
Tasted their Timorasso lineup
Fantastic white wines at both estates
We really liked the posted wine best
Fantastic value
We will visit again in the early spring

Funny, Otto Forsberg actually has had just the opposite influence over me when it comes to Spanish Moravia Agria-Garnacha blends.

I’ve got a few acquaintances who have said that it’s not that impossible to even see some Timorasso wines produced in Langhe and Asti regions now that the wines from Tortona have gained some traction.

Fortunately for you, there are tons of other remarkable Italian whites as well, not just Timorasso - only the Italian whites are drowned amidst that sea of insipid swill, so one really needs to know where and what to look.

Some pointers that include some famous names and some wild cards:

  • Cantina Terlan Pinot Bianco Vorberg; not only Italy’s but perhaps the whole world’s best Pinot Blanc. Might not come across as such if drunk young, but things start to change after 10 years in a cellar.
  • Borgo del Tiglio Malvasia; some of the most long-lived white wines from Friuli. Not made from any of those bland and neutral Malvasia varieties, but from the outstanding Malvasia Istrana, which is a whole different beast.
  • San Lorenzo Vigna delle Oche Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Riserva; one of the most powerful Verdicchios out there, capable of aging remarkably well.
  • Joaquin white wines; very outside the box, ranging from Jura-like sous voile whites to remarkable powerhouses made from grapes grown in the island of Capri. Exceptional, eye-opening stuff.
  • Suavia Massifitti; Suavia is one of the greatest newcomers in the Soave region, but to me their best white has been their 100% Trebbiano del Soave white from volcanic soils. Outrageously mineral and very textural with spectacular structure.
  • Skerk Vitovska; outside the Friuli behemoths Radikon and Gravner, Skerk makes some of the most complete Italian orange wines.
  • Elisabetta Foradori Fontanasanta Nosiola; Foradori makes some of the most subtle and delicate skin-contact whites from the local rare curiosity, Nosiola, exhibiting wonderful depth in these distinctive whites.
  • Ettore Germano Nascetta; Timorasso is not the only wonderful Piedmontese white variety - Nascetta is another really good one that seems to benefit from subtle skin contact. Ettore Germano’s might be the greatest one out there.
  • Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore; all Sartarelli’s bold single-vineyard Verdicchios are among the greatest whites in Italy.
  • L’Acino Mantonicoz; one of the most distinctive Calabrian whites with lots of funk and textural skin-contact character. Definitely not for people who want only squeaky-clean wines!
  • Lis Fadis Friulano Sbilf; I’m not a big fan of Friulano, since it is a variety that is either vinified too early, resulting in fresh yet neutral whites, or then at the peak of ripeness where the wines show good varietal characteristics, but are too weighty and ponderous. This wine manages to avoid those pitfalls of the variety and is probably the greatest Friulano I’ve tasted thus far.

Really great recs, Otto. Couldn’t agree more on Sandi Skerk.

While we’re on tasty Piemontese whites, don’t forget the Favorita grape. Sorry I have no specific suggestions for producers or bottlings.

As for Otto, he’s one of my favorite troublemakers with a taste for amazing off-the-beaten path wines. I miss hanging with you!

Bucci’s Verdicchio Riserva is perhaps the fines Italian white I’ve had.

Tha ks for all the recommendations Otto
Most are new to me

Hi Claus
I’d be interested in your thought on Tortona itself and the area around it. The wines of course are a great draw (and interesting to see a prestige / single vineyard bottling from a producer at the value for money end of the spectrum). I did catch sight of the city / surrounds from the TV feed of a recent Giro d’Italia and it certainly looked appealing.
Whilst we’ve stayed a few times in the Langhe, we’ve also stayed in and enjoyed Ghemme, Roero, (nr) Asti, Bubbio, Cuneo (and of course Torino), so always keen to try out another area in the region.

Since I have been frequenting WB, my wine acquisitions greatly exceed my wine consumption !!! As I approach age 70, it is a bit of a like / hate arena for me with these “new to me” wines recommended that attract my interest. They seem to be stylistically and price-wise matched to my wine tastes. Anyway, I could not restrain myself (yes, I am weak) and pulled the trigger on a Timorasso “thanks” to Otto and now Claus - three bottles of the 2015 version of the wine Claus pictured above and deemed his favorite.
P.S. I may need an intervention.

Hi Ian
We focused primarily on the vineyards east of the city, but we stopped for lunch in the center of Tortona
It is a beautiful small city like many others in northern Italy
The main attraction of the wine area is Timorasso IMO which is called the “white Barolo” by the locals.
I would go there again soon. The hills in Timorasso country are so beatifull
Btw I would also highly recommend Festa del Ruche in Castagnole in May and Sagre di Asti in September just after the Palio

The feeling is mutual! I really do hope you manage to find an opportunity to visit these our cooler latitudes and longitudes once again, and I’ll let you know if I’ll ever happen to be visiting your neighborhood.

As for Favorita (aka. Vermentino), I must say that I’ve never found that variety particularly interesting - at least when grown in Piedmont. The best ones can be pretty tasty, but ultimately all of them have felt rather mundane and all too often lacking precision and structure. I wish you would’ve had some names to recommend, since I really haven’t tasted a single Favorita really worth remembering. I think that I’ve had more frequently interesting Chardonnay than memorable Favorita when it comes to Piedmontese whites!

However, they do make some wonderful whites from the same variety right in the neighboring region of Liguria under the name Pigato.

Bucci’s Riserva is certainly among the best Verdicchios of Marche. Surprisingly, also Verdicchio Cuprese by the local behemoth Colonnara is remarkably ageworthy for a Verdicchio - this wine might not feel particularly interesting when drunk young, but starts to turn into a completely different beast after 10+ years in a cellar. However, based on my experience, neither Bucci or Colonnara are at the same level as the two top Verdicchio producers I mentioned earlier (Sartarelli and San Lorenzo).

Hi Claus
Many thanks for that. Nice to know the visual charm is backed up ‘on the ground’. Yes Timorasso a favourite white of ours for a few years now, though I do lean towards the lower alcohol versions and mostly avoiding those at 14.5+% where it can feel hot and heavy for my palate. Ruché also a grape we’ve enjoyed (and I even have a Ruché grappa which was so surprising to see I had to taste it - it was good, so I bought a bottle).

Hi Otto, Wade, Odd
Likewise I’ve struggled to find a Langhe Favorita I like, but I’ve also had greater success with Verdicchio.