Drink Distinct: Wines & Producers

Suddenly Timorasso

La Colombera’s Timorasso has a dirty little secret


Elisa Semino, the driving force behind La Colombera has a lot to say about Timorasso. Her 2016 La Colombera Derthona Timorasso is a beautiful and faithful example of this wine that not long ago seemed headed for extinction.

Her advocacy for this local vinifera, combined with her amazing energy and outstanding wines, has earned her the moniker, “the Queen of Timorasso.”

The wine world is abuzz over Timorasso’s resurrection. Already considered one of Italy’s great white wines, it is projected that the number of producers will explode. I just heard a report of the grape being planted in California!?

So, if it’s so great, why did everyone stop making it not long ago? Simple, it’s a major pain-in-the-ass grape. The grape size is so variable within clusters that achieving consistent ripeness is challenging and it’s highly susceptible to disease as well. Producing Timorasso is a huge commitment. 

La Colombera is in Tortona, which is a bustling and surprisingly urban commune in southeast Piedmont. The traditional name of the town is Derthona, hence the name of Elisa’s Timorasso.

It’s a brilliant wine. Often when I encounter something new, I relate it to something familiar. Not possible with Timorasso because it is like nothing else I have tasted.

Bright and mineral-driven, it has more body and structure than I usually associate with this flavor profile or with a wine that sees no oak. Elisa “chalks” it up to the diverse soil - some spots with light clay and some with dark (see samples in photo at top).

Drinking Timorasso is like sitting at the cool kids’ table, except it’s not just hype, it really delivers. Those of you who think of white wine as only something you drink while waiting for red, I dare you to try this. And for you white lovers, your ship just came in...well at least in a few more weeks 🤞. 

La Colombera Derthona Timorasso 2016
La Colombera Derthona Timorasso 2016