Region: Trentino/Alto Adige
Type: Red Wine
Grape: Teroldego/Other local varieties
Elisabetta Foradori is the top producer of Teroldego, an ancient, native grape variety that is related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. In 1985, at the age of 19, Elisabetta took over her father’s estate in the Campo Rotaliano zone of Trentino in the foothills of the Dolomites. At the time, Teroldego was a variety typically sold in bulk to co-ops or being uprooted in favor of more popular varieties like Pinot Grigio and Merlot. Elisabetta, a young woman just out of enology school, put all of her efforts the grape, achieving such success that by 1999 she was being referred to as the “undisputed top producer of Teroldego.”
Lezer, a new project of Foradori’s sons Emilio and Theo Zierock (Emilio is now head winemaker), born of the terrible 2017 vintage, when the fruit from the vines that go into the basic Foradori red bottling was devastated by a summer hailstorm. What fruit could be salvaged and ripened was turned into this short-maceration red wine, named for its light color and body. It was Foradori's first vin de soif, and they enjoyed the change of pace so much that its production is continuing. The wine debuted as pure Teroldego but now has up to 10% other varieties in it, and is the product of twenty different experiments from the home vineyards, about three quarters of which went into the final blend. Some went into amphorae, some into oak, some into steel, some into cement, some with the floating cap method and others with direct press.
The result is a juicy natural wine that is pure, light and unpretentious but with a degree of seriousness. Soft tannins, floral and red fruit aromas, and notes of raspberry, plum and cranberries.