New Wines from Elizabeth Foradori
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This post was written by Some Good Wine owner Jeremy Block. Call him at the store with any questions about these or any other wines: (212) 777-3151
I know, I know, it took long enough as many of you have been asking about these wines for months. So I finally present to you the new vintage of the one, the legendary, the only: Elizabeth Foradori (the crowd goes wild!!!!!)
There are many reasons why the wines of Elizabeth Foradori receive the kind of accolades and attention that they do, with incremental public attention gained every year. I would say, first and foremost, that the wines are spectacular––obviously––but that doesn't really cut to the heart of it! One could also point to the interesting story (see below) of which this native grape was found and processed. But when I think of Foradori, it is the way she does things which makes these wines so exciting and interesting. And with that, I present to you the new vintage of Foradori, with two new wines never before offered by the shop.
A little background: Since she took over her family's winery at the age of 19, Elisabetta Foradori has made a life's work of elevating the Teroldego grape to heights once unimaginable. An ancient variety native to the alpine Trentino region and related to Pinot Noir, Lagrein, and Syrah among others, Teroldego thrives in the high, sunny foothills and plateaus below the Dolomite peaks in the far north of Italy. For most of its modern existence, it was grown and used in bulk. The farming was conventional—chemical use, mechanical harvesting, nursery clones—with the vines trained overhead on pergolas for easier ripening and higher yields. Co-ops purchased the fruit and turned it into light, thin, two-dimensional wine for local consumption. There was little appeal to it beyond the region, and growers started ripping out the Teroldego vines in the 1980's and replacing them with more international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet.
Elisabetta's family had purchased the estate in 1934; her father bottled Foradori's first vintage in 1960. When he passed unexpectedly in 1976, her mother kept the winery going until her daughter could graduate with her enology degree. Fresh out of school, Elisabetta jumped into her first harvest in 1984, fully committed to not only preserving her family business but also to pushing it and Teroldego forward to fulfill what she believed to be their great potential for quality over quantity. Flying in the face of local and family tradition, Elisabetta turned her attention first to the vineyards, gradually replacing the pergola-trained, high-yielding clones with massale cuttings from the oldest, best Foradori vines trained low on wires in the classic French guyot style. She also began harvesting by hand, pruning rigorously and converting the farming to organic.
The Foradori estate today comprises 28 hectares of vines (75% Teroldego, 15% Manzoni Bianco, 5% Nosiola, 5% Pinot Grigio) and produces around 160,000 bottles in a normal vintage. The vineyards are high in altitude and surrounded by mountains but generally on flat sites which receive a lot of sunlight and drain well. The Teroldego, as well as Pinot Grigio, is grown on the expansive, limestone-and-granite-rich Campo Rotaliano plain—essentially the "grand cru" of Trentino—with its sandy, gravelly alluvial soils; the Nosiola and Manzoni come from the Fontanasanta hills above Trento on clay-limestone soils about a half-hour away.
These are the wines that will be available. Some are on the site. If you don't see what you are looking for, call the shop.
2019 Foradori Teroldego Dolomiti
Flagship wine of this estate; the wine that started it all. Teroldego is the grape which was extinct and resurrected by Ms. Foradori. Highly unique, combining the rustic gaminess of Syrah with more bright red fruit and crushed floral aroma.
2019 Foradori Teroldego Dolomiti Sgarzon
100% Teroldego. Sgarzon is a cooler, sandier 2.5-hectare vineyard averaging 25 years old on the Campo Rotaliano plateau, a broad, flat, sunny and well-drained expanse of vines in the shadow of the Dolomites. Sgarzon is very close to the Morei site and made identically: destemmed whole berries are put in clay amphorae for spontaneous fermentation and aging for 8 months. There is no sulfur used until racking and bottling. Both Sgarzon and Morei develop faster—being raised in clay—compared to the traditional foudre-aged Foradori red, and are therefore released earlier. Interestingly, both were originally bottled from 1987 through 1999, then discontinued until the 2009 vintage. By that point, Elisabetta had converted the vineyards had them certified biodynamic, and was ready to embark again on expressing these two particular terroirs. The name Sgarzon comes from sgarzo, local dialect for "vine shoot"
2019 Foradori Teroldego Dolomiti Morei
100% Teroldego. Morei is a warmer, stonier 2.5-hectare vineyard averaging 30 years old on the Campo Rotaliano plateau, a broad, flat, sunny and well-drained expanse of vines in the shadow of the Dolomites. Morei is very close to the Sgarzon site and made identically: destemmed whole berries are put in clay amphorae for spontaneous fermentation and aging for 8 months. There is no sulfur used until racking and bottling. Both Sgarzon and Morei develop faster—being raised in clay—compared to the traditional foudre-aged Foradori red, and are therefore released earlier. And both were originally bottled in 1987 through 1999, then discontinued until the 2009 vintage--at this point, Elisabetta had converted the vineyards and gotten them certified biodynamic and was ready to embark again on expressing these two particular terroirs. Morei means "dark" in local dialect.
2019 Foradori Teroldego Dolomiti Granato
100% Teroldego, like all of the estate's reds, the fruit for Granato comes from the Campo Rotaliano plateau, a broad, flat, sunny, well-drained expanse of limestone-and-granite-rich vineyards tucked up at high altitude in the shadow of the Dolomites. This was Foradori's first riserva-level Teroldego, bottled by Elisabetta in 1986. This is the most traditional of the special Teroldego bottlings, not amphora-aged like Morei or Sgarzon, but rather in large oak foudres for 15-18 months; notably, it began as a somewhat internationally-styled wine, aged in French barrique, including some new, but the last vintage to be touched by barrique was 2008. Granato means "garnet" in Italian and is also a reference to the pomegranate or melograno, that fruit having Mediterranean origins like the first grape vines brought to Italy millenia ago; Elisabetta prizes its self-contained beauty, charm and balance, characteristics she associates with her Granato bottling.
2018 Foradori Morei Cilindrica Teroldego
100% Teroldego. Cilindrica is the same wine as the “normal” Morei (see details under the Morei entry) but it is racked out of the first amphora, where it spends 8 months on the skins, to spend another year in a slimmer, smaller, cilindrically shaped amphora for another year of aging.
2018 Foradori Sgarzon Cilindrica Teroldego
100% Teroldego. Cilindrica is the same wine as the “normal” Sgarzon (see details under the Morei entry) but it is racked out of the first amphora, where it spends 8 months on the skins, to spend another year in a slimmer, smaller, cilindrically shaped amphora for another year of aging.
Find them here on our Foradori collection page. Call the shop for more availability.