In a nutshell: Great fresh and ripe Piemonte red made with the native Freisa grape.
The lowdown: An old Piemonte variety Freisa is a close relative of Nebbiolo and has been grown in the region for centuries. One of the lesser well known grapes of North West Italy plantings have now fallen to only around 1000ha however the wines produced have never been of better quality. Made by Claudio Mariotto, whose family have been making wine for generations, near the old city of Tortona this wine has lovely ripe red and dark fruits that have a good richness about them. Medium-bodied and with a softness, fine tannins, refreshing acidity, and a spicy bite this vibrant wine perhaps ought to be a bit more well known!
When to drink: Perfect with tomato based pasta or pizzas, cold meats, or mushroom and/or light game dishes.
Founded in the 1920s by great-grandfather Bepi, Claudio Mariottos family have been making wine in the Tortona hills of Piedmont for generations. Today the winery is run and managed by Claudio, with the help of his partner Rossana, his brother Marco and his mother Piera. They have 100 hectares of land, 50 of which are planted with vines. Located in the municipalities of Tortona and Sarezzano, they work solely with native grape varieties, including Freisa, Croatina, and Barbera, but their real focus, their passion, and the majority of their production is dedicated to Timorasso.
Once on the verge of extinction, Timorasso is a native Piedmontese varietal, which thanks to producers like Claudio Mariotto, is more recently seeing a revival in plantings and popularity. Rather than opting for Cortese, which was the preferred white of the area, Claudio saw potential in Timorasso and made it his mission to showcase its ability to produce premium quality wines of distinction. Claudio conducted thorough research into how to manage this notoriously difficult varietal, and in turn has become a benchmark producer of this varietal, producing authentic wines, with lots of personality.