Piedmont’s full-bodied white has come into its own.
One of the many reasons I love specializing in Italian wine is that I never get bored. With more native grapes used to make wine than any other country in the world, and long traditions of growing only select varieties in certain areas, the combination of unique grapes and specific growing conditions often leads to fascinating wines that can’t be recreated anywhere else in Italy or the rest of the world.
Timorasso, one the most exciting wines coming out of Italy right now, is exactly that combination of native variety and specific growing area.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage facing the just-released 2011 Brunello vintage – awarded four out five stars by the Consorzio – is that it comes on the heels of the widely acclaimed 2010. And while the 2011s won’t be remembered as an historic vintage, overall they have an immediate, juicy allure that exceeded my expectations from what was a difficult, at times torrid vintage. The best also show some staying power, and more than a few showed unexpected complexity.
The best 2010 Riservas are displaying impeccable balance, restraint and complexity. And while many have cellaring potential, they are still more immediate than Riservas from cooler vintages. The good news is this also means you also won’t have to wait decades before you can enjoy them, as is the case with quintessential Riservas. I also gave a rare 100 points to Biondi Santi’s drop-dead gorgeous Riserva, which shows real aging potential to boot.
The wine world is mourning the loss of Giacomo Tachis, one of Italy’s most celebrated enologists, who passed away on Saturday, February 6, at the age of 82.
Born in Piedmont, Tachis—a graduate of Alba’s Enological School—is most associated with Tuscany and Sardinia. Thanks to his pioneering vision, Tachis is the man behind some of the country’s most lauded wines, including Tignanello, Turriga and Solaia. He also had a crucial role in perfecting Sassicaia.
The brainchild of Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, Mario brought in Tachis (who was working for his nephew, Piero Antinori) as a consultant to gradually increase production while keeping quality high, and to ensure that the wine would stand up to being exported globally. Thanks to Tachis’s collaboration, the 1968 Sassicaia debuted in 1971 and is credited as the original Super Tuscan.