Back in 2000 at the Wine Experience, in one of his seminars on the quirky and overlooked wines of the world, columnist Matt Kramer introduced the audience to the joys of Teroldego, an obscure northern Italian red grape grown in Trentino and championed by Foradori winery. I was intrigued.
Then at the 2007 Wine Experience, Elisbetta Foradori came to pour her top-of-the-line Teroldego, the Granato, from the 1997 vintage. A classic-rated wine upon release, this distinctive red proved that Teroldego could age impeccably, still showing incredible freshness, polish and complexity. By then I was smitten.
I've had the basic Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano (the flat plain where the vines grow) a few times since my introduction to the grape, but I still jumped at the chance to try the newest vintage when I saw it on the by-the-glass list ($15) at Maialino, Danny Meyer's new Roman trattoria-style restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel. A friend and I were dining there for the first time during New York Restaurant Week. I had my eye on the Malfatti al Maialino, a suckling pig ragú with arugula (what else to get at a restaurant named "the little pig"?), which the server noted was a light ragú made with white wine. Although he usually recommends a white or a more familiar red like the Barolo or Brunello, we thought the pairing might work.
The wine was as enjoyable as I remembered from previous vintages: Dark with a plush texture backed by enough acidity to carry the rich plum, berry and cherry fruit. Its smoky, herbal notes complemented the pork well, and the fruitiness and freshness of the red stood up to the bitterness of the arugula. 88 points, non-blind. It might not have been the perfect pairing of all the choices available, but I was happy: I drank what I like and ate what I wanted.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for previous vintages of Foradori Teroldegos.
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Italian reds.