Foradori’s natural way
Foradori is a legendary name in Italian wine. The proprietor, Elisabetta Foradori, is by all reports a charismatic woman who enjoys great respect among her peers in the northern Italian region, Trentino-Alto Adige.
Her wines were recently poured for the retail and restaurant trade in Sydney, at an event hosted by export director Myrtha Foradori and Todd Slater representing the Queensland-based importer, Addley Clark.
I had previously enjoyed the 2011 vintage of one of Foradori’s crus, Morei, and was keen to learn more. All of the reds are vinified from teroldego, which is the key indigenous red grape of the region. This wine, which is fermented for a long time (around 9 months) on skins in a Spanish amphora, is not cheap at $72 retail for the current release, 2014. I found this vintage rather acidic and also sulfidic. The other cru tasted, Sgarzon, also from the 2014 vintage and also $72, was even more challenging with volatile acidity and aldehyde as well as high natural acidity. Reading between Myrtha’s lines, it seemed the wet 2014 vintage was at least part of the problem.
The two 2014s were contrasted by the entry-level 2013 Foradori Teroldego, which is a basic Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT appellation, a $45 wine, yet I enjoyed it much more and rated it higher at 91 points. It seems 2013 was a more successful vintage. This wine had more attractive ripe berry fruit characters, nice fleshy extract, and balanced acidity. A thoroughly pleasurable red wine.
Foradori is a darling of that sector of the restaurant trade that’s fascinated by ‘natural’ and ‘amber’ wines. The tasting began with a ‘white’ wine, 2015 Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco ($44), and I use the inverted commas because it was not really white but amber-yellow and cloudy in the glass. Unfiltered, no doubt. It’s a powerful, full-bodied, skin-contacted wine made from the local grape, incrocio manzoni*, the heaviness of the palate augmented by substantial tannins, resulting in a very chewy texture. It’s an acquired taste, which I did not succeed in acquiring.
My advice is to buy the cheaper teroldego red, which is lovely, or at least stick to the successful vintages.
*a cross between riesling and pinot bianco.