Teroldego…… Tare-ol-day-go……. it’s a fine grape variety to practice standing in front of the mirror with a fake Italian accent….my particular favourite is “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You drank my Teroldego. Prepare to die”…..yeah I know he was Spanish but you get my drift.
It’s an old Italian variety….the first mention of the name harks back to 1383 when a barrel of vinum teroldegum was used to pay the interest back on a loan. At that time it was grown between Rovereto and the Campo Rotaliano on the border between Trentino and Alto-Adige….it’s the bearded, fiddle-playing cousin of Syrah, the one you avoid on the street but will quite happily dance a jig to at a party…. it found it hard to fit in…. it just didn’t seem to reach its potential.
Enter Elisabetta Foradori……well not quite yet….. the winery was established in 1901 and Vittorio Foradori purchased the estate in 1929. It is located in the Campo Rotaliano…. the headspinningly picturesque floodplain formed from the confluence of the Noce River into the Adige River; a setting framed by the massive, chiseled sentinel cliffs of the Dolomite mountain range. Vittorio’s son Roberto started work at the winery in 1960 and the first vintage under the Foradori label was produced in 1965. Roberto sadly passed away in 1985 …….enter Elisabetta Foradori taking over the reigns of the estate at twenty years of age.
The dynamic Elisabetta set out to revive the ailing local variety Teroldego….over time a large part of the vineyard was planted with selection massale and fifteen different clones were registered…improvements began to be seen. In 2000, Elisabetta started studying the works of Rudolph Steiner and began to convert the family vineyards to biodynamics in 2002, joining VinNatur in 2007 and gaining their certification from Demeter in 2009.
Today the estate farms 26 hectares of grapes……80% are Teroldego, 15% Manzoni Bianco and 5% Nosiola. In the winery the the wines are made in a very “hands-off” manner….handpicked, indigenous yeasts, no temperature control during fermentation, a dab of sulphur after the first racking and bottled un-fined and un-filtered. A variety of vessels are used during the wines evolution…. acacia and oak casks and open-top fermenters, cement vats, stainless-steel tanks and clay “tinajas” all play a role in the life-cycle of the wineries various cuvees.
The 2008 Foradori Teroldego comes from the stony alluvial soils of vineyards around the towns of Mezzolombardo, Campazzi and Settepergole and is designated as Teroldego Vignetti delle Dolomiti IGT. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and the wine is aged for fifteen months in both stainless steel and seasoned wooden casks before bottling.
Deep bruising red in colour with slightly rustically tinged dark and black berry fruits. Black cherry and plum provide the bass with hints of oregano, thyme, black olive tapenade, roasting meats, nutmeg, polished leather and licorice with lighter wafts of sous bois, truffle, dried mandarin peel and a fragrant wildflower breeze.
The palate possesses abundant energy and the wine flows across the palate….sleekly shaped and with a lively gait. Again dark cherry, plum and blackberry fruits provide the oomph but there is a certain poise to their form. It’s an earthy wine….well maybe rocky rather than earth with hints of crushed stone, five spice, licorice, scattered herbs, leather, dark chocolate with flashes of forest floor, wild flowers and citrus zest.
What impresses most about the wine is it’s vitality and drive….it’s not overly complex but its pure deliciousness and drinkabilty won me over instantly. The tannins are super-fine, ripe and chalky, the acidity crystalline and bright and the wine trails off persistantly and makes me long for a heaving plate of salumi and antipasto. Lovely gear.
Price: $49 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 13% – Source: Sample – Importer: Douglas Lamb Wines