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2012 Il Montino, Colli Tortonesi, La Colombera, Piedmont
The Semino family wine estate, La Colombera, is one of Piedmont's rising stars. Based in the village of Vho, among the pretty, calcareous clay hills of Tortona, it's a third generation, 22 ha property planted with the white wine grape Timorasso, and red grapes Barbera, Croatina & Dolcetto; all within a mile of the winery.
In 1998 they took the step of buying their vineyards before bottling their first vintage in 1999; a new cantina/winery was installed & to cap it all, in 2000 daughter Elisa, returned from her viticultural studies in Milan to join her brother Lorenzo, father Piercarlo & mother Luisa. When not bottling peaches with her mother, Elisa's setting a demanding pace, being responsible for an exciting range of wines, where the focus is clearly Timorasso.
Timorasso is the ancient, indigenous white grape variety of the Tortona hills, an hour’s drive east of Alba on the edge of the Po Valley. it is not dissimilar to either Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay, being richly elegant and having a tendency to botrytize giving slight mandarin notes to accompany the full, minerally, fleshy flavours.
Most Timorasso from the tiny 50ha zone is made in stainless-steel, without malolactic fermentation.
Timorasso is one of the most exciting Italian autochthonous grape varieties to surface in recent years, from the Colli Tortonesi wine region in south east Piemonte, not far from Gavi in fact.
This ancient variety was brought from the brink of extinction during the '70/80s by the march of multinationals and their preference for facile Chardonnay, Merlot & Barbera. Local boy Walter Massa led the fight to revive this distinguished grape variety during the '80s/90s.
The style of Timorasso white wines resemble a mix of Chablis & Savennieres on account of high acidity, rich extract and propensity to develop noble rot, all grounded by calcareous soil.
Timorasso doesn' t benefit from oak ageing, as its purity, freshness and power emerge perfectly without it. Apricots, peaches, lime, and with age a touch of honey and a whisper of nuttiness all contribute to its aromatic profile, while its natural acidity and extract allow it to be drunk young or cellared for up to a decade.
Neighbouring estates such as La Colombera have also seen the light and are now focusing their efforts more & more on this fine variety.
The Colli Tortonesi DOC includes 30 communes, all of which are located in the province of Alessandria in Piedmont, and extends from the Monferrato to the Oltrepò Pavese.
The production of origin wines includes the following varieties:
Red wines: rosso and rosso novello, barbera and barbera superiore, dolcetto and dolcetto novella, croatina
Rosé wines: chiaretto
White wines: bianco, cortese, cortese frizzante and cortese spumante, favorita, moscato bianco and
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