Five generations of Massas laboured tirelessly to keep the Timorasso flame alight whilst cheap Pinot Grigio and Prosecco rolled past by the truckload. 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 thick skins, low yields, high disease susceptibility and immense concentration, it ought to be served by the glass in every restaurant with even the slightest aspirations to a decent wine list.
Walter makes various iterations of Timorasso – ‘Derthona’ (the Latin name for Tortona) is the standard-bearer. Beneath that sits the ‘Piccolo Derthona’ and above are the lofty, single-vineyard iterations including ‘Costa del Vento’, ‘Montecitorio’ and ‘Sterpi’. None of them is aged in oak – we have Mother Nature (and Walter) to thank for all that concentration. Next door sits his Barbera ‘Monleale’ and another bit of wonderful Walter weirdness, the 100% Croatina ‘Pertichetta’.
Now, 25 years after we first imported it, Timorasso is a cause célèbre with sommeliers from every corner of the globe beating a path to his door. I couldn’t be happier. Walter smiles with bemused resignation. It’s a funny old world.
Massa's Timorasso At Osteria Francescana - July 2016
Terra Vino Rosso
Colli Tortonesi Croatina DOC 'Pertichetta'
Colli Tortonesi Barbera DOC 'Monleale'
Colli Tortonesi Barbera DOC 'Bigolla'
Timorasso 'Costa del Vento'