Friday, June 8, 2012
"Derthona" Timorasso From Vigneti Massa
What is "timorasso"? Native to Piedmonte in northern Italy, this is a very rare grape. Most of the timorasso has been torn up and replanted with cortese, a less-troublesome variety. Walter Massa is one of the few people still making wines with it, and protecting the sites.
My friend Randy, owner of The Friendly Vine in Forest Grove, was going nuts for this the other night. He called it his new "house white". I was in his shop sampling him on some wines for my other day-job (Sales rep for Oregon Wine Sales) when he showed me the bottle and poured me a splash to try.
Fireworks went off in my organoleptic receptors. It was as if someone threw golden apples, pears, unripe kiwi fruit, mandarin oranges, lemon zest, and spearmint into a bowl then spritzed seawater on it! What the hell is this stuff?
To think, that was just the bouquet.
My eyes lit up, Randy saw that, nodded knowingly, and watched as I brought the glass to my lips. A sip, then a pause to ponder what was happening, and a swallow. Such a simple, by-now-instinctive act, and yet also full of meaning...
"Randy, what is this stuff?!" I exclaimed. Again that knowing smile, when a wine geek knows he's hooked another wine geek.
The taste was something incredible, like millions of tiny bubbles filled with apple, pear, mandarin, lemon pith, saltwater, and olive oil all exploded on my tongue at once. I couldn't stop smiling. This is the most interesting white wine I've had all year, and perhaps one of the greatest white wines I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Nice to make your acquaintance, timorasso.
*Note* The only place in Oregon to buy this stuff is at Randy's shop, so surf over to the Friendly Vine website and ask him about it.