An evolution in the Teroldego world (the local red grape of Trentino wine area in northern Italy) is in progress: it relies on the strength of the team, on the energy of the young producers, on the pride of the territory and on the historical power of tradition. Just those claimed matrices, in general, in the Italian wine world (and not). Teroldego Evolution or Revolution – depending on how you want to read it – is an association of 11 young winemakers in Trentino who join forces focusing on the uniqueness of their territory, the Rotaliana plain, and its wine: the red Teroldego, aiming to (who knows) the top appellation DOCG, in essence already pursued given the recent agreement of significant yield reduction compared to the existing DOC. An identifying and fascinating red that is able to offer different stylistic interpretations and that presents itself, therefore, more concentrated or lighter in body depending on the final intent without risking losing its appeal. I met some of these (young) producers and I appreciate their enthusiasm, their territorial and familiar tie.
Emilio, son of the legendary Elisabetta, inherited courage and sincerity with the enormous results (for the company and the entire territory) we all know. Since 2003 they are biodynamic, taking inspiration from the forest where there is no intervention and yet a perfect balance is. The so-called “pergola trentina” system is still the preferred one but the attention to yields and biodiversity guarantees the quality that in the past risked to be random. Spontaneous fermentation, cement for the “lighter” wines from sandy soils, stainless steel tanks or, again, the wood for the “stronger” ones as well as experiments in amphorae (of Spanish inspiration) define a framework supported by a very focused project that aims at the maximum “naturalness”.
About 150 thousand bottles a year for 7 labels mostly exported. Among my favorites: the intriguing Manzoni Bianco 2017 “Fontanasanta” (IGT, aged in acacia wood), full and pleasant, enriched by a touch of Pinot Bianco (along with the crossing Manzoni Bianco), however vibrant and long with the return of those floral notes and hints of kerosene already felt on the nose. Foradori 2016 (Teroldego IGT, matured in cement before wood) is my favorite with a definite and intense fruity character (strawberry) enriched by aromas of smoke and forest floor; smooth, dry and balanced as well lively. And yet the Granato 2016 (Teroldego IGT that ferments and matures in wood), more open with flavors of jamminess, nutmeg and tobacco. Territorial and juicy wines: with Foradori winery you always risk to finish the bottle.
The professionalism and style of Daniele Endrici (because this is the original name of the family then evolved over time in “Endrizzi”) do not stifle the desire for comparison and evolution; on the contrary, their open approach fits perfectly the awareness of those who follow a successful historical path. There are the main ingredients of a charming company in Masetto that has been able to renew itself and now offers a varied line that show know-how and finesse (about 24 wines for a total production of 600,000 bottles a year including those of the Tuscan estate, Serpaia) and where the line called “Masetto” is the highest one ranging from Trento DOC sparkling wines to the classic line that is focused on traditional vines and finally to blends with international varieties. In addition to the creamy and elegant Trento DOC sparklings as well as a “fluid” and representative Masetto Bianco (IGT 2016, Chardonnay and Riesling Renano) I like to focus on the different versions of Teroldego. “Masetto Nero” is the historical version in which Teroldego meets Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (IGT): with an inviting, pungent and sweet nose, it offers a juicy and balanced sip; “Masetto Due” (2015) is instead the version of the last generation, Daniele and his sister Lisa who choose to work with Teroldego and Cabernet (2 authors, 2 grapes), round and fresh at the same time, joyful and easy-drinking; finally “Gran Masetto” (2015): “Teroldego & Teroldego” given that part of the Teroldeg grapes are dried to make it more complex and structures: amooth but harmonious. The notes of sandalwood and vanilla combine with blueberry ones and vegetable touch but still want time to be better aged.
Andrea Martinelli (named after his grandfather as usual in Italy) is one of the youngest members of the association since it is only since 2009/2010 that he has started to resume his family production, along with a structure and a tradition dated back to 19th century and somehow linked to a powerful family in the area (Firmian). At the foot of the monumental Castel Gottardo, Andrea and his brother with a few hectares focus almost exclusively on the local red Teroldego that here at Martinelli shows greater power and concentration with the support of wood ageing and alcoholic strength, elements that contribute to imagine a certain potential; so I guess that all the proves they are now making in the cellar will hold up for a long time to illuminate the road of this solid project. So, while their Teroldego Rotaliano DOC 2015 (only part ages in wood: tonneau and large barrel) is deep with flavors of blackcherry and cedar wood, juicy and supported by a fine tannin, the 2014 version is much more open, balsamic. The “Maso Chini” 2015 (Teroldego Rotaliano DOC, matures for 50% in new wood and 50% in second passage) is penetrating with notes of licorice, sour cherries, black pepper and sandalwood; nearly salty on the palate. A story with important historical roots which, however, is now living a new adventures getting more spontaneous since Andrea and his brother have decided to open back that door or… ‘machine of the time’, if you want.