Localization: Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Tasting Notes: This wine is an attention-getter: The inky color with a garnet rim is appealing upon the pour, and the rich aromas — recalling red raspberry, dark plums, baking spice, olives and a hint of sweet smoke — are invigorating. Most notable of all is the texture of this wine. It is silky smooth, with just a hint of tannin and a robust acidity that moves things along. A radiant gem of a wine.
Notes: The results obtained through years of biodynamic farming and observing stability in the vineyard emphasized the character of each plot of land and made us realize that we would need to undertake a separate vinification across two vineyards.
Through the use of amphorae (Tinajas from Villarrobledo, Spain), with their particular shape and the porosity of the clay that they are made of, the winemaking process is undertaken with purity and balance. The process of turning grapes into wine is not effected by outside influences; the amphora acts as a shield, allowing the grapes to progress with only the character of the earth and grape variety as their guidance. Morei means ‘moro’ or ‘dark’ in the Trentino dialect and the grapes cultivated in this vineyard are a firm echo of this. Their roots rest among the pebbles and the sand in the earth carried by the Noce River, cultivating wines with a texture of minerality and density. Morei Teroldego resumes form and is reborn amplified and transformed.
Food Pairing: Braised Things, Gamey Meats, Steak!, Red Sauce
The Domain: “How can one try to describe the wines of Elisabetta? It’s easy to say that, in this case, the grape does not fall far from the vine or the hand that cultivated it. Foradori – immediately striking, gracefully elegant, discerningly tasteful, soberly serious while at the same time wry and playful, and above all always generous and sincere. Wait, is that Elisabetta or her wines? In fact, it could easily be used to describe one or the other.” – Kevin McKenna of Louis Dressner Selections
Elisabetta’s journey in her “wine life” is a familiar tale, but one that we never tire of hearing. The early death of her father unexpectedly hurtled her to the management of the family estate. Though “born among the vines” as she says, she took the helm at first more from a sense of duty than one of passion or vocation. Eventually, however, that passion and vocation came through the work itself, both in the vines and in the cellar.
Despite her star rising as “the queen of Terodelgo” throughout the 1990’s, by 2000 Elisabetta had lost all personal connection to her work. A path of questioning, experimentation and intuition (including everything from biodynamics, massale selection and the use of amphorae) eventually led her to give up any sense of chasing market trends of the “wine industry” to develop the estate towards the goal of making wines respectful of the soil and the local grapes she wants to honor, and using the techniques she found more interesting, less invasive, and more wine “holistic”.
Elisabetta is still very much a daily presence and “the face” for most of the winery’s fans. But if you’ve been following the estate over the last decade it’s likely you’ve met and interacted with her three children Emilio, Theo and Myrtha. All three are lovely and very much evolving the winery into its next phase of existence.
Stylistic shifts, already in motion when Elisabetta was still in the cellar, have become clearly defined over the last decade (thanks to her three children) including transformation of the winery into a full-fledged polycultural farm. There have been further experiments with amphora as well, including the very limited “Cilindrica” bottlings, aged an extra year in a smaller, cylindrical amphorae.
Going back to Kevin’s original text, he ended it with the following statement about Elisabetta. Again, it’s fitting and affirming that it applies just as pertinently to her children:
“In a lot of ways, she has come far, but we think, that for Elisabetta, like for other great grower/winemakers we are privileged to work with, it is a process, and one that doesn’t necessarily end.”