Daniele Carlo Ricciwinemaker Daniele Carlo RicciAzienda Agricola Ricci Carlo Daniele

Via Montale Celli, 15050 Costa Vescovato

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Azienda Agricola Ricci was founded in 1929 and is now under the guidance of the current generation’s winemaker, Daniele Carlo Ricci. Eight hectares of vineyards (marl and limestone tufo) were planted in 1986 on slopes at 280 metres. Split half between the endangered white grape Timorasso and reds: Barbera, Croatina, Bonard and Nebbiolo, Ricci have a special affinity for Timorasso, making four distinct styles.  Vineyards are farmed sustainably and working towards organic certification. Viticulture is intense and focused on low yields: 7 buds, 14 bunches per vine producing 1.5-2 kilos total.

Winemaking is non-interventionist, following use of native yeasts, stainless steel or neutral barrel maturation, low sulfur (around 33 miligrams per litre only at bottling) and no filtration. Wines are bottled following lunar cycles to assist clarification. No temperature control is used, Daniele preferring to ‘let wines take their course.’ Some of the whites are driven by extended skin contact to counter lack of sulphur and to support age-ability. Only sulphurs at bottling, 33 miligrams per litre, minimal. Non-filtered, bottles at moon,

Down to its last 100 hectares, Timorasso is undergoing a resurgence in this part of Piedmont, with Alisandria being the only region allowed DOC status. When the next valley wanted to gain DOC it was denied this specifically because differing climate and soil conditions resulted in both different and poorer varietal characters.

It is not an easy grape to grow. Relatively delicate, with thin skins and tight bunches, it tends toward over production on fertile soil, so needs unfertile soils to reduce yield and increase concentration. High alcohol can be a problem as well. Daniele believes the ‘key to Timorasso is it needs SE orientation to create more elegance and floral aromatics.’

Daniele produces four Timorasso styles, both on and off skins, from vineyards planted in 1986, 1992 and 1997. Daniele says that ‘Timorasso characters are not overtly floral or fruity, it is more mineral driven.’ ‘Extremely neutral during fermentation almost right up until bottling,’ he continues, ‘It needs a year of bottling to come right. Fundamentally, its more a red grape, than white.’

Daniele feels the best time to drink Timorasso is at 6-7 years and it will go until ten. His 2001 Timorasso is the oldest vintage still drinking well and the best years for his Timorasso wines were 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.