So here we are, off the beaten path, with a bottle of Teroldigo Rotaliano. Have you ever heard of Teroldego Rotaliano? As far as I am concerned, I don't think I ever tasted such a wine before so I was quite happy to find this bottle at my local wine store last week. Teroldego is a rare Italian red variety planted almost exclusively in Northern Trentino, in a valley called Campo Rotaliano, and its sole appellation of origin is Teroldigo Rotaliano.
Campo Rotaliano has been famous for growing grapes for centuries. It is a small glacial valley around the confluence of the Adige and Noce rivers and protected by mountains on all sides. The Dolomite Mountains bring cool air into the valley in summer and protect the vineyards against the cold in winter. The soil is mostly gravel, silt, and various alluvial deposits.
Teroldego is a cool-climate vine that is hardy, vigorous and potentially prolific. The fruit is not very tannic but high in color, aroma, acidity, and potential alcohol. If yield is restricted, Teroldego can produce an ageworthy wine of intense flavor. It has recently been discovered that Teroldego and the French grape variety Dureza, one of the parents of Syrah, were sibblings.
Some suggest that the name Teroldego is derived from the German term Tiroler Gold (gold of the Tirol). Most likely, Teroldego takes its name from the word tirelle, a system of wire harnesses to train the vine.
are a tiny bit of earth
and gravel, pebbles,
says Elisabetta Foradori, owner of the Azienda Agricola Elisabetta Foradori and maybe Italy's finest producer of wines made from Teroldego. Her 2003 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano has a dark red color and an assertive nose of black fruit and violet aromas and some gamey notes. On the palate, the wine is absolutely delicious, rich, complex and elegant with a lingering mineral finish, which reminds me of a softer version of a Bordeaux.
What a discovery! I love being off the beaten track, thanks Tyler!
Previous WBW posts:
• WBW #34: 2002 Stella Maris Red Columbia Valley
• WBW #33: the 2004 Clot de L'Oum Compagnie des Papillons, a superb value wine from the Midi
• WBW #32: Reserve or not Reserve?