For lovers of Italian wine, only that one word needs to be uttered to convey passion, precision, quality and tradition.
High above the pastures and the green rolling valleys, in the Trentino are the picturesque, postcard inspiring, Dolomite mountains. Within those massive high altitude shadows, lie the vineyards of Elisabetta Foradori, who, at the youthful age of 46 years, is fast becoming what La Cucina Magazine called "The First Lady of Teroldego". Not shying away from that compliment, she has single handidly raised the level of quality and notoriety of the regions indigenous grape varietal, Teroldego from which she produces two delicious reds: Granato, and a rosso simply called "Foradori".
Within Trentino, she has led a charge for higher quality, lower yields and stricter selection. These methods, which she was unable to convince other local producers to follow for the betterment of the DOC zone, caused her to leave the DOC and label her wines simply as "IGT". Foradori is employing biodynamic methods vigorously. She uses non-chemical methods pegged to the phases of the moon, which farmers (including founding father Benjamin Franklin) have long said affect the roots, leaves and fruit of plants.
In 2009, Foradori took the dramatic and risky step of using only herbal teas grown in her garden to strengthen her vines and ward off common fungal diseases that can devastate grape crops. She also stopped fertilizing and tilling her vineyards, and instead encouraged wild grass and weeds, which are mowed and raked into the soil. Her cellar is filled with ancient terra cotta amphorae that were first employed by the Greeks and Romans. The results are evident and amazing.
The 2009 Foradori Teroldego is a blackish deep red color in the glass. It's impenetrable to look at. The aroma of the wine is captivating and unique. There's a deep core of black plummy fruit, with traces of limestone, minerals, a slight essenence of hay, and an almost alpine aroma. In the mouth, the wine is full bodied and muscular, with rich black fruit flavors, sweet herbs, menthol spice and licorice. Again, something unique. You don't find Cabernet or Sangiovese that tastes like this. The wine is balanced well, with crisp acidity as you would expect from the higher altitude but it's also got substantial tannic structure and will benefit from 2-4 years in the cellar. Remarkable stuff. 92 points, about $20.
|Classic Label: Foradori Teroldego, from vineyards in the Dolomites|
|Elisabetta Foradori with her Munsterlander Dog, Argo.|