Foradori IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti Teroldego 2020
Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
From the importer-
Elisabetta Foradori is the top producer of Teroldego, an ancient, native grape variety that is related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. In 1985, at the age of 19, Elisabetta took over her father’s estate in the Campo Rotaliano zone of Trentino in the foothills of the Dolomites. At the time, Teroldego was an also-ran variety whose high-yielding grapes were either sold in bulk to co-ops or were being uprooted in favor of more saleable varieties such as Pinot Grigio and Merlot. Elisabetta, then a young-woman just out of enology school, doubled down on the grape. Utilizing seleccion massalle from her Pergola trained vines, she re-planted her vineyards using guyot training and high-density plantings, pruned her vines diligently, and introduced barriques to the aging regimen. By 1999, she was being referred to as the “undisputed top producer of Teroldego (Barolo to Valpolicella: Belfrage)” and had received numerous accolades, especially for her Granato, the most bold and concentrated of her Teroldego bottlings.
While her wines were satisfying the critics, they were not satisfying her. Elisabetta began experimenting with biodynamics in the 2000s as a means to introduce more energy and dimension to her wines. As her work in the vineyards evolved, the wines too began to change, from big and concentrated to a more textured and elegant style. In 2009, after having tasted the amphora aged wines of COS, she began experimenting with terra cotta tinajas made to order in southern Spain. Today, she ferments and ages her Teroldego Sgarzon, Teroldego Morei , and the white Nosiola Fontanasanta in these large (420-480 liter) amphorae. The results are a revelation; the wines are pure and concentrated with a clarity that is unique; these are game-changers.
In addition to the amphora wines mentioned above, Elisabetta continues to make her “basic” Teroldego IGT Dolomiti, a stainless steel fermented and barrel aged Teroldego from fruit planted in the sandy, alluvial soils of the Campo Rotaliano that shows all the classic dark-fruited aromas and flavors of the grape. She also makes another white wine from the Manzoni Bianco grape from the newly-leased Fontanasanta vineyard located 30 minutes south of her estate. This highly aromatic wine is fermented in cement tanks, macerated for one week and aged for 12 months in acacia casks. There is up to 10% amphora fermented Nosiola added to the blend.
The estate now consists of 16 hectare, spread over 15 parcels, all farmed biodynamically. All Teroldego vines are planted in the Campo Rotaliano, the “grand cru” of Teroldego. The soils are a mixture of sandy alluvial deposits and morainic limestone from the nearby dolomites. While the vineyards are flat, they have excellent drainage. The majority of the white grapes are now coming from the Fontanasanta vineyard, an organic vineyard rich in limestone and clay.
Elisabetta is now ably-assisted in the cellars by her son, Emilio, who has been handling duties in the cellar when she travels.