Piedmontese White - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Piedmontese White

Winemaker Claudio Mariotto (right) pruning in the vineyard with his son, Filippo. (Photo courtesy of the winery)

Timorasso is a white variety that had almost disappeared until the late 1980s, when Walter Massa found a few vines on his property and began to cultivate them. The variety has become a sommelier darling in recent years as an ageworthy, complex white. Grown primarily around Tortona, some 60 miles northeast of Barolo, timorasso has become more widely available in the US as Barolo producers such as Borgogno, Vietti and Roagna have invested in vineyards and begun producing wines. But Claudio Mariotto’s family has been growing grapevines in the hills of Tortona since 1921, and, along with other local producers like Massa, Mariotto became an early believer in timorasso and its potential to elevate the region’s profile.

Mariotto now makes six wines from timorasso; this is his most accessible bottling, vinified entirely in stainless steel and kept on the lees for six months, rather than the full year he gives to his four other wines. While timorasso typically requires years of bottle age to blossom, this one has loads of personality right out of the gate. It combines lush tropical notes of dried pineapple with the zippy tartness of lemon and lime in a dense, saline-inflected texture—as if it were a blend of Chablis and chenin blanc. If you’ve never tried timorasso, this is a great place to start. And if you have, you’ll want to grab a case.  


Claudio Mariotto 2021 Colli Tortonesi Derthona

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

is the Italian wine editor at Wine & Spirits magazine.

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