Ezio Poggio Timorasso Archetipo 2016
Timorasso and its ancient homeland of the valley of Val Borbera, once enjoyed relative prosperity. But that prosperity was 2,000 years ago, when this staunch white grape full of dry extract was marketed across the Cinque Terre / Alba trade route into Gaul.
Ezio Poggio knows this for a fact – he wrote his PhD dissertation on the first Roman village that planted and exported Timorasso. But these facts don’t change the history of Timorasso – production waned with the collapse of the Empire, and then a long, slow fade until post World War II, when the countryside of Val Borbera was depopulated and Timorasso dropped out of production, to near extinction.
Although Ezio’s winery is over 50 years old, it wasn’t until 2004 that he decided to rededicate it to Timorasso. Reestablishing vineyards in the long-lost growing zone now known as Terre di Libarna situated between Piedmont and Liguria, he is pursuing his unique vision of creating Alpine wine of ineffable, peerless beauty:
The “Archetipo” or Archetype is his top bottling – the idea to create the pure minerality, chalk substrate textures, and delicate dancing hints of citrus and spices that Ezio believes are the primary characteristics of Timorasso. Farmed and made “without make-up” – the vineyards are now biodynamic and this is produced 100% in very old large oak casks, the beauty of Timorasso’s unique character shows through.
I have tried in my mind to summarize a description or compare it to other wines, but I can’t seem to find the correct positioning. It has the body and shape of a Puligny Montrachet but with more dry extract chalkiness, like the palate of a Chablis. Yet it doesn’t have the lemon / acid / mineral profile of a Chablis, instead tending towards white flowers and a starched, almost supple, tannin character. It has richness and depth and while the project is relatively young, I believe it will last for a very long time.
Maybe the best summation is that it is one of the most interesting white wines I have had in a good deal of time, and not just interesting as an intellectual enterprise, but also for its drinking enjoyment. It certainly is a perfect summation for our terroir series of wines – a unique place, grape, and winemaker, together showcasing an exceptional wine.
As you might guess we didn’t get much. Don’t miss it.