Timorasso is an indigenous white variety that Luca Currado Vietti said had been around since the Middle Ages and there is a Latin document that links the variety to the town of Tortona in 1209. The long-time home of Timorasso is in the vineyard area of Colli Tortonesi that surrounds Tortona (known in Roman times as Derthona) – 50 miles east of Alba in Piedmont. Colli Tortonesi is known for its Tortonian soil, one of the two main soil types of Barolo (famous bluish-grey marl being part of its makeup), and also considering that Timorasso has complex aromas in youth (honey, minerality, and nutty character) with an ability to age, it is no wonder that Luca refers to it as the white Barolo, although he said it drives the other Barolo producers crazy when he says such a thing. At their best, Luca Currado likens these wines to Hermitage Blanc. “[Except] Timorasso has more acidity, so in a way, it is also like Chenin Blanc,” he said. “It is a white wine with tannin.”
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate This is an exciting new addition to the Vietti portfolio. The 2018 Colli Tortonesi Timorasso Derthona is a compact, medium-bodied wine that offers a large span of neutral aromas ranging from melon and quince to Golden Delicious apple. What sets the wine apart is its silky texture and creamy fruit weight. I happily drank my sample with some take-out spring rolls in spicy sauce. We will surely see more prominent winemakers in Lange who decide to dabble in Timorasso in the upcoming years. This native grape shows promising aging potential and makes for an excellent white wine addition in a portfolio of age-worthy reds.
Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico “Despite being located in one of the very best areas in Chianti Classico and boasting a superb track record, Rocca di Montegrossi remains one of the most under-the-radar estates in Chianti Classico, and Italy, for that matter. Proprietor Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi crafts deep, powerful wines that capture the essence of Monti, a sub-zone of Gaiole that has long been prized for the personality & pedigree of its reds. The estate’s Chianti Classico is often one of the best wines in its class, while the flagship San Marcellino & Geremia are reliably outstanding.”—Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The history of the Ricasoli-Firidolfi family in Tuscany is a rich tapestry of kings and statesmen, its fabric woven together with the vine. For more than 37 generations, this ancient family has cultivated grapes and crafted wines in Monti in Chianti, the “very best area” of Chianti Classico, according to Antonio Galloni.
The family’s roots in Tuscany began with a man named Geremia back in 1141, when the name “Chianti” had yet to be spoken and Tuscany was the scene of many a battle between warring families. The “rocca” of Montegrossi was a strategic post, high up on a plateau, providing shelter for traveling dignitaries.
For centuries the family guarded the “rocca” and cultivated vines on its sunny slopes. Yet it was in the nineteenth century when Baron Bettino Ricasoli—the “Iron Baron” and future prime minister of a united Italy—created the original “formula” for Chianti Classico’s blend of grapes.
The “Iron Baron” was winemaker Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi’s great-great-great grandfather. Today on the very same land where his forefathers grew grapes, Marco crafts peerless Chianti Classico wines according to the traditions and wisdom of countless generations.
Chianti Classico is the estate’s flagship wine is a blend of about 90% Sangiovese, with 10% Canaiolo and Colorino. The wine ages mainly in large cask and barrels made with Allier oak for 12-24 months. After being bottled unfiltered, it ages another six months at the estate prior to release.
Estate vineyards are located in Monti in Chianti, a “micro-area” of Gaiole. This area, between 1,050 and 1,500 feet in altitude, offers the ideal range for ripening Sangiovese perfectly. Soils combine alberese (limestone) and galestro (schist) with clay. Wines are thus more elegant, intensely perfumed and darker in color than from other Chianti Classico areas. Hand-harvested. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in lined cement tanks. Aged for 11 months in traditional wooden vats, between 54HL and 56HL (called “tine,” made with French Allier oak) and lined cement tanks.