Zeni Teroldego Rotaliano 2001
Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.
The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.
The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.
Unique to the Trentino region of NE Italy, Teroldego produces a deeply purple-hued wine with an assertive black fruit character and intriguing aromatics. The best quality Teroldego comes from the Campo Rotaliano, a sandy and gravelly plain between the tall mountains of the area. Somm Secret—Dating back to the 15th century in Rotaliano, Teroldego has created a well-connected anthology for itself. As a parent to Lagrein, a variety native to nearby Alto Adige, it is also closely related to Syrah.