Our tasting impressions
While the essence of this wine remains the same as in prior vintages, the high temps of 2019 resulted in a Timorasso that is richer, spicier and deeper. It's a gutsier version that seems to have a bit more depth and intensity. Drinking this alongside the 2018 is a pleasant and educating lesson on the effects of climate on the same terroir. Give this a little time to flesh out.
About this wine
100% Timorasso produced from the best grapes from a 20 year-old, organically farmed vineyard with western exposition. The soil is clay and calcareous and elevation is 300-350 meters. Harvesting is by hand followed by strict selection.
Luca does a soft pressing and then 12 months of battonage on the fine lees in steel tank. The wine is filtered before bottling (about 4,000/year).
About the grape
Timorasso, an ancient, thick-skinned grape, is almost exclusively grown in southeast Piedmont, in and around the town of Tortona (traditionally known as Derthona). It was rescued from extinction within the last few decades.
Timorasso fell on hard times because it is a challenging crop. The grapes in each cluster vary in size and thus, ripen at varying rates. Plus, the vines are not vigorous and are susceptible to disease. So why bother with a revival? Simply put, this crisply acidic, mineral-laden grape is capable of producing one of Italy's most interesting white wines and with good body.
There still are only about two dozen producers making Timorasso, but as more people get exposed to this remarkable wine, demand will compel more to plant this indigenous grape.
Luca's vintage perspective
2019 was very hot and had average rainfall. As compared to the previous vintage, 2019 wines tend to be fuller-bodied and a bit higher in alcohol.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Gianni Respighi, a gracious B&B and wine bar host in Tortona introduced me to young Luca Canevaro. Luca has assumed the daunting responsibility of leading the wine tenuta started by his great-grandfather about a century ago. Just as significantly, he decided to join in the crusade to resurrect and celebrate Timorasso (or Derthona, as it is traditionally known), one of Italy's truly great varieties.
Luca transformed the family business in 2016, supported by his brother Stefano (who has recently finished his oenology training) and guided by his father, Sandro. They farm 8 hectares of vineyards that are now certified organic. Production is only about 15,000 bottles per year.
Vineyards thrive at higher elevations (more direct sun, greater day/night temperature variance and enhanced drainage) and Canevaro has some of the highest vineyards in the DOC of Colli Tortonesi - up to 300-350 meters. This asset combined with respect for the land and tradition, passion and dedication has this small estate on a path to prominence. VDLT is pleased and proud to introduce this wonderful family's wines to the US.