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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

The Won Percent: Derthona

Updated: Dec 5, 2023


If you're reading this email, you've won. Seriously, even if you don't buy a bottle of Monlia Derthona, you're winning this wine game. Really. Most wine drinkers just don't pay much attention, but if you are curious enough to note that Timorasso is both important and obscure, and it's something you ought to look out for (even red drinkers, I would say, should try a Timorasso), you've figured it out, and you're winning. Tooting our horn today, for sure, but if you are one of our customers, you're really in a special league of people who care about drinking wine that is made with care for both the earth and the finished product. There are many "serious" wine collectors out there that don't hold a candle to the flame that burns in you. Keep reading, keep winning.


There are a handful of white grapes that you might regularly find in Piemonte these days -- Moscato, Arneis, Cortese, Erbaluce, Favorita... maybe Nascetta, but if you ask me, there's one that seems to outdo them all with ease and grace, and that grape is Timorasso.


Still rather obscure and not the easiest grape to find, Timorasso has nonetheless skyrocketed in popularity among Barolo and Barbaresco producers, and many big names have migrated east to the hills around Tortona, where one man, Walter Massa, singlehandedly revived this promising grape, and gave the ancient name of Tortona, Derthona, to wines made from Timorasso grown in the hills around the town (the colli Tortonesi). Although he came up with the name, and was the first to use it, signore Massa lets anybody use Derthona if the wine is made from Timorasso and grown in the Colli Tortonesi. Timorasso makes bold and powerful wines that at times remind me of Chenin Blanc or Riesling, but it is a characterful and distinctive grape that deserves it's own attention and vocabulary. The wine world is just getting re-started with Timorasso, but it's a very exciting renaissance.


Monlia is a new company founded by Isabella and Pietro Oddero, cousins, and a couple of their friends. Monlia is made at the Oddero winery in Barolo, so it is essentially an Oddero wine, and the quality that we expect from this storied estate is present here, it is a fabulous Timorasso, and a great introduction to the grape. Very little of this wine came to MA, and we may run out soon. Try one soon if you're interested.


Monlia Derthona Timorasso 2021 - $35

Aromas of strawberry and citrus candies, white flowers, a little sage, mint and other herbs. Viscous and silky on the palate, with integrated mineral grip and loads of ripe juicy fruit. Finishes with a wave of ripe fruit and beautiful herbal and stony nuances, this is delicious. Drink over the next 3 to 5 I should think, I wouldn't push it too long, though the intensity and balance here does bode well for the future.


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