2010 Vigneti Massa Derthona Timorasso - A Must Try

It's tough to be a white grape in Piedmont.

The northeastern Italian region is home to some of the world's most coveted and age-worthy reds. But it's particularly trying to be Timorasso, an obscure, white-skinned variety.

For decades, the grape verged perilously close to extinction, having been uprooted to make room for more commercially viable vines. In all likelihood, Timorasso would have vanished entirely if it weren't for the painstaking efforts of one man: visionary winemaker Walter Massa.

Recognizing Timorasso's track record for producing distinctive whites, Massa revived this underdog grape from a tiny parcel of vines. A recent proliferation of the wine in stores across New York is reason to pitch in and drink to his efforts.

For complexity and sheer drinkability, the 2010 Vigneti Massa Derthona Timorasso ($25 for 750 ml) rivals many of the region's blockbuster reds.

Combining unctuous, honeyed notes with a lean, acid-driven frame and perfectly chiseled minerality, it is the ideal partner to a Leek and Pancetta Risotto with a Fried Egg. With its saline freshness and unctuous, deeply textured weight, the wine can also hold its ground against rich pork or chicken dishes, such as Roast Chicken with Rosemary-Garlic Pan Sauce or Mortadella Bolognese with Pistachio Gremolata.

Environmental conservationism never tasted so good.

Available at 67 Wine, Garnet Wines & Liquors, MCF Rare Wine, Eataly, Brooklyn Wine ExchangeSip Fine Wine, Pasanella and Son, and Astor Wine & Spirits.