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The Teroldego Grape


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About Teroldego

(Synonyms: Merlina, Teroldega, Teroldeghe, Teroldico, Teroldigo, Tiraldega, Tirodola, Tiroldegho, Tiroldigo.)

Background

Map showing Italy’s Trentino region.

Teroldego is a red-wine grape originating in the Trentino region of Italy—more specifically, in the “Campo Rotaliano”, an alluvial plain between the rivers Adige and Noce. To this day, that plain is regarded as the best site for the increasingly respected Terodelgo grape. (Though nowadays Teroldego acreage in California is steadily increasing.)

(Incidentally, the wine name is pronounced te-ROL-de-go; don’t mis-place the accent.)

Teroldego wines are quite dark in appearance, but soft and quite fruity on the palate; the fruit—of a red-fruit quality—is often overlaid with earthy, almost smoky qualities, and some spiciness. It has suficient acidity to present as fresh and bright, balancing the fruit, and has a fair amount of tannins. It does not need much aging, but can stay solid for many years, up to a decade or more for well-made specimens. The wine tends to finish with a slight bitterness (much valued by Italians and not a few others).

(This is yet another of those fabulous grapes rescued from virtual extinction by the dedicated labors of a single winemaker—in this case, Elisabetta Foradori of the like-named winery, who started her career as a winemaker at the age of 20.)

Factoid: Teroldego comes from a good family, so to speak: DNA testing has showed it to be a parent of Lagrein, and a sibling of Dureza, a parent of Syrah. It is possibly also related to Pinot Noir.

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Some Descriptions of Teroldego Wines

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Some Teroldegos to Try

(About this list.)

Despite its widely acknowledged excellence, Teroldego has yet to make much of an impact in the U.S., so the list below is now down to but one bottling (even stretching our criteria somewhat). Moreover, it seems ever more wines that would once have made these lists—and especially Italian wines, for some reason—are disappearing: either dropping in critical ratings, going up in price, or vanishing from retailers’ shelves (or all of those). Sad: very sad.

Mind, there are various Teroldegos out there, some of decent or better quality; but they are scattered around a very small number of shops each. If your local winemonger has or can get you a Teroldego or two, give it a try.


Terra d’Oro Teroldego
(A California bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Foradori “Granato” Vigneti delle Dolomiti, which retails for about $51 to $95. To be honest, it is by no means clear that that wine is so much superior as to justify that price, but if you want an upscale Terodelgo, there it is.

(Elisabetta Foradori is more or less the queen of Terodego wine-making; follow the link in this sentence to see her story.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 25 October 2021, at 4:14 am Pacific Time.