2016 Foradori Teroldego

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it was a scramble for most restaurants to try and capitalise on this opportunity by launching some sort of Mother’s Day promotion. I’d usually let this slip and not really engage in these ‘festive promotion’ type things, but had felt obliged in this instance, probably because of a recent Digital Marketing course that I had been signed up for by my company.

The course was carried out by hotel and tourism school SHATEC on Google Meet, a pretty neat web-based collaborative platform developed to handle such classroom learning. Apart from the occasional connectivity interruptions, and time just spent waiting on a special handful of people manoeuvre their way around the app, I must say that it has been an alright experience. It was an insight into what the internet and computers are again capable of. Also kudos to Google for really thinking up something like this and making it work.

I had learnt a handful of things in the duration of this course, but one that I thought to be especially relevant was to take the opportunity in festive times to launch a promotion or a sale. It was Mother’s Day and I thought well, why the hell not. When every other restaurant that decided that it was going to be Champagne for a Mother’s Day promotion, I had a different idea. The 2016 Foradori Teroldego was what came to mind as I’d wanted a unique red wine, but mostly because the owner of the estate herself is a mother, who has now handed over production to her three children. This would be the wine that I’d get my mother for Mother’s Day I thought, if I hadn’t already bought her a hand made porcelain tea set online.

The wine comes from the Trentino region of Northern Italy, an unlikely region for export quality wine, not because of some geographic predisposition that it finds itself in but instead its long time association with more commercial wine production. Cooperatives account for 80% of the production of all wine here, and 60% of all wine produced here come from one major company, Cavit.

An important style of wine from this region that has made export quality and is seen around the world however, is Trento DOC. Trento DOC wines are sparkling wines produced in the Champagne method, and have been made here since the early 1900s. Ferrari is a prominent brand of Trento DOC.

Though the Trento DOC wines and many of the commercial still white and red wines may be made with international grape varieties, the region is home to number of unique and exciting local grapes. Nosiola and Manzoni Bianco are two native white varieties while Marzemino, Schiava Grossa and Teroldego are some of the native red ones. These don’t make as much wine as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay in the region, and therefore we don’t hear much of these varieties and it’s a terrible shame.

Elisabetta Foradori and her three Children Emilio, Theo and Myrtha

My first taste of Teroldego was of Foradori’s 2009 Granato, her top Teroldego bottling on the first vintage her estate was officially certified Biodynamic. I will admit that I did not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this 2016 Teroldego, which was fresher, cleaner, elegant and more vibrant. Im sure its youth definitely helped in exemplifying said vibrancy, but they both showed great quality – quality that could threaten the dominance of international grapes in the region.

It is this story that Elisabetta Foradori had sought to tell the world, and what a way to do it. She had taken over the estate, located in Campo Rotaliano in 1984 at the age of 20. Now her three children Emilio, Theo and Myrtha Zierock continue in their mother’s footsteps, in elevating the potential of the local wines of Trentino. The family farms about 28 hectares of vineyards, and own about half of those vineyards, all farmed to Biodynamic principles. The vineyards are surrounded by the Dolomites, an alpine mountain range that turns into a very popular ski area in winter.

The beautiful view from the vineyards looking into the great Dolomites

80% of Foradori’s vineyards are planted to Teroldego, 15% to Manzoni Biano and 5% to Nosiola. The vines that made this wine come from about 9 hectares of vineyards planted in a mixture of alluvial, gravel and sandy soils. The fermentation takes place in cement tanks after which some of the wine is racked into barrels where they will mature for another 12 months. The wines are then blended and bottled.

One thing that I found particularly interesting about the Granato Foradori bottles is that they were bottled in Shiraz-looking bottles. Very squarish and stout bottles, made with what felt like high quality glass. The wines however were far from tasting anything like Shiraz. The standard Foradori Teroldego wines come in regular Bordeaux bottles.

Teroldego wines have deep ripe black-cherry flavours with a pronounced tannin and acid structure. The wines when made well have great ageing potential, as the Foradori wines reveal. The 2016 Foradori Teroldego had a Malbec-like purplish colour with good depth. The wine itself was reductive but opened up over a period of about 30 minutes. In hindsight, decanting would have been a good idea here. The aromas were more savoury than fruity with earthy notes, some juniper, aniseed and pine. It had that burnt rubber aroma that you’d normally associate with Pinotage. It started showing hints of herbaceous bramble bush aromas as the reduction eventually blew over. Overall the quality was high with the wines showing great balance and elegance. The acidity made this wine that much more gastronomic and it yearned to be sipped aside some local Tyrolean Speck. This is a wine that I’m sure that I’d revisit many more times in the future.

In any case, it turned out that the promotion was a success and we had sold out of the wines in one day – I had reordered the stock twice more since putting it up. So, hooray Digital Marketing course! You’ve proved to be…profitable.

A very happy Mother’s Day to all of you! If you’d like a bottle of the Foradori wines, they are distributed in Singapore exclusively by ewineasia, and you can pick one up here!