TN: An evening of wines from Trentino/Alto Adige


Last night, my tasting group met to drink wines of Trentino/Alto Adige. We did it a bit different this time and went to one of my favorite Northern Italian restaurants. The wines were consumed in flights as we ordered our own food off the menu. The wines were all opened when we sat down and allowed to breathe. The meal to almost 4 hours. It was a bit less geeky than a blind tasting with lots of silence. But, it was a great evening with a lot of great food, wine and conversation. As for the wines…

  • NV Ferrari Brut - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Trentino, Trento
    Another nice bottle and value. Consumed without food. The nose has seltzer and a bit of peach. Nice effervescence. A slightly sweet note that I did not notice on prior bottles. Almost dry but quite. Refreshing and a good way to start the evening. (88 pts.)

  • 2013 Cantina Terlan Pinot Bianco - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    Very nice and refreshing. Worked very well with food. I would drink these up soon though. The nose has just a bit of peach with more seltzer and ginger. Light gold in color. lighter bodied. Nice acidity. Very lean. There is some peach on the palate and plenty of minerals. Worked fine with food. At $16, very nice value, but younger is better. (89 pts.)
  • 2013 Kettmeir Müller-Thurgau - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    Really interesting wine. Light gold in color. The nose is juniper berries (think Gin). Its dominating although there is some minerality. That quality carries over a bit to the palate, though that is more minerals driven. Again, I think this might be on a downward slide. I would like to try the 14 at this point. Its still refreshing and interesting. Worked well with food. Wonder if this bottle is representative. (88 pts.)
  • 2014 Cantina Terlan Pinot Grigio - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    I liked the freshness of this wine, but I think the Pinot Bianco is probably a better wine. It would have been good to compare similar vintages. Light gold in color. The nose has peach, minerals and a slight minty note. Light bodied. Refreshing. Easy to drink. Food friendly. Enough acidity though not a lot. Good value at $18. (88 pts.)
  • 2013 Nals Margreid Alto Adige - Südtirol Pinot Grigio - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    Very nice, but again, I think it was probably better last summer. Light gold in color. The nose has slight peach with nice minerality. A very nice medium bodied texture. Good acidity - best of the flight. The palate is slight peach and mineral. Some depth. A bit fresher probably due to the acidity. Nice finish. Worked well with food especially some wood fired pizzas. (89 pts.)
  • 2012 Cantina Terlan Chardonnay Terlano Kreuth - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Terlano
    Light golden in color. The nose seems more mineral driven than I remember prior bottlings. Slight oak on the nose as well. On the palate, this is medium weight and intensity. Some complexity but I don’t know that this is built for the long haul. The fruit is less pronounced than prior bottles. Still, it is excellent and a very good value. (91 pts.)

  • 2011 Ignaz Niedrist Lagrein Alto Adige - Südtirol Berger Gei - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    I seemed to have liked this more than the group. To me this is a wine, that shows how good Lagrein can be. Its around $40, which for the quality is worth it to me. purple in color. The nose has dark cherries, spice, cherries and plenty of depth. The palate shows deep if not delineated complexity. Big cherry and dark cherry fruit. Great acidity. Easily worked with the food, but would drink well on its own. Wonderful wine. I wish it were easier to find. (93 pts.)
  • 2013 Elena Walch Lagrein - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol
    It was good to drink this against a top quality Lagrein. Considering that this was 1/3rd the price, I thought it held its own. ruby in color. The nose has nice cherries with a bit of earthier dark cherries. Spice and maybe some cocoa powder. Nice acidity. Easy to drink. A classic “pizza” wine I suppose and indeed it went great with a foraged mushroom wood fired pizza. At $16, there is a lot of value here. The waiter said they had just finished their 07’s which were drinking great. It might be interesting to see how these age. (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Foradori Granato Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
    This is one of my favorite producers in all of Italy. Elizebeth Foradori’s wines are great at all price ranges. I still think of this as her top bottling. I had some misgivings about opening one so young, but it was allowed to breathe for a couple of hours before pouring and I thought it showed well. Purple/ruby in color. The nose is great with cherries, dark cherries, a perfumed floral quality and just a touch of vanilla. On the palate, complex and tightly layered. It unwinds in the glass. Silky but tight tannins. Great acidity. Long finish. Great with food now, this easily will last another decade and maybe two. Wonderful wine that deserved a bit more attention than the occasion allowed. But, that’s what more in the cellar might be for. At around $52, there are not many better values in wines of this quality. (95 pts.)
  • 2010 Foradori Sgarzon Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
    Jeff thru this in as an extra. I was quite delighted as I had not yet had a chance to try these. A single vineyard offering (Teroldego) that was raised in amphora and then neutral oak. The nose has dark cherries with some herbal notes and even some cocoa powder. Silky texture. Fine tannins. Great acidity. Just a notch down in complexity for me from the Granato, but time may help that. Delicious wine. Thanks Jeff! (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba
    A few months back, this group did a Barbera tasting and we discussed how well they might age. I bought this wine since then to check it out. It seemed as good a time as any to drink it. Ruby in color. The nose has dark cherries and black raspberries along with a nice earthy funk. Maybe a bot of damp forest floor. On the palate, this is juicy with nice black raspberries and dark cherries. It is still fresh and alive. But, at ten is it giving me anything that it didn’t give me at 5? I don’t think so. An outstanding wine, but I am not sure it gets much better after five or so years. It certainly held just fine though. YMMV. (91 pts.#

Next month, back to paper bagged wines of the Jura #a sommeliers dream).
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[shock.gif] Scary when we track so closely, Loren. I had the Granato at 94, Sgarzon at 93, and the “Burger Guy” lagrein 92. Really glad to try the two Foradoris together, as the Sgarzon (a mighty beast in another context last year) every bit fulfilled its reputation as a sleeker, friendlier, more elegant wine. Certainly justifies Ms Foradori’s decision to bring some up separately vice blend it all in.

Must put more Granato in the cellar. And her basic teroldego in the upstairs rack.

Sounds like a great dinner/tasting. Thank you for the notes. We spent some time in Trento/Alto Adige this summer and it served to confirm my suspicion that many wonderful wines are produced there. So many interesting bottles of Schiava, Lagrein, Terodego, St. Magdalener, Kerner etc. We visited Foradori and there wasn’t a wine I did not enjoy there. A first for me was the cellar full of amphorae and tasting the single vineyard wines. We’ve enjoyed the standard Teroldego for a few years now. I met Elisabetta Foradori briefly, an absolutely stunning woman with a firm handshake and a warm smile. I’ll stop now before I get in trouble. blush
BTW, Speck is delish! [cheers.gif]

Are all these wines imported into the US now?

I remember, 20 years ago, the only Alto Adige wines around were those of Alois Lageder (“Al Lageder” I called him). Went to a great tasting of them a couple of times, but…never really became a fan of the region. Stuck with Alsace instead.

Nice tasting. Refreshing.

All of the wines served were purchased in the US in the last 6 months.

The foradori base teroldego bottling is my favorite discovery of the last few months. I keep meaning to try to find some of the higher end cuvees. Good to hear they can be opened young!


Thanks for the write up Loren. The wife and I stayed in Bolzano and then the Val Gardena in the Dolomites several years ago: not only loved the location but very much enjoyed exploring the wines. A small importer brings a few wines from the area into NZ and have been able to tuck a few bottles of the Foradori Granato 2006, 2007 and 2010 into the cellar, though a friend of mine has opened and shared a couple of his which were delicious young though with clear cellaring potential. This thread has me sorely tempted to get some of the ‘standard’ Teroldego and the Szargon when they are next offered.

I also had a soft spot for the Cantina Terlano Vorberg Pinot Bianco which takes this grape to new heights and the Hofstatter Kolbenhof Gewurztraminer which was pretty much Gewurz on steroids but have never seen these in my country.

Big fan of Foradori’s wines. The Granato is certainly worth cellaring. Hard to believe we agree!

At IPNC, the 2012 Girlan Alto Adige Riserva Mazzon Pinot Noir was really nice…worth seeking out.

BTW…missed you and Susan at IPNC!