If I had to choose a favorite producer in Trentino in would have to be Dorigati. While there are a few producers that are able to match the quality of wine produced, some of the traditional stalwarts and a pair of exciting new up and coming producers, no one has matched the array of interesting and compelling wines that Dorigati has to offer.
Besides the product there is of course the story behind this Cantina. Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, Dorigati is a classic and consistent case of what makes Trentino great. While this fifth generation producer farms substantial holdings on both the Piana Rotaliana and the slope of Monte di Mezzocorona they have always supplemented their harvest with the bounty of several small growers. The result is a mini- coop that has proven successful for far longer than most other wineries in the world!
When one meanders through the property, and spies Michele, the current generation in charge, sitting in the office that exudes 1930 it make come as some surprise that the vinification facilities here are all state of the art. The wisteria that wraps around the wineries faced hides all the normal accoutrements of a modern winery but deep in the cool recess of the original winery building there remains a splendid room filled with giant, old botte. There are of course many new barriques as well but wood is not only judiciously used here but the decision to use one form or the other is exceptionally well reasoned and applied.
Dorigati Much of the typical Trentino line-up of indigenous grapes but in addition there are compelling examples of unusual varieties, modern crosses in Fact. The Rebo is common enough in the region, though it may be a new one for many readers. This cross of Teroldego and Merlot has proven to be somewhat of a workhorse grape in the region producing fairly large scaled, round fruity wine. The Dorigati is an excellent example
Somewhat more exotic is the Grener, a Cab sauvignon, Cab franc, and Carmenere blend. For years much of the “Cabernet” of Italy was unidentified since there was no need to go beyond the generic Cabernet moniker. In fact much of what was Cabernet Franc in Trentino was in fact the rather obscure Carmenere that is finding new fame in Chile. This blend recalls Bordeaux of the past and the wine sure shows that way as well.
Finally, and most unusual of all, is the 1858 commemorative wine. Bottled only in magnums to mark the historic birthday this blend of Teroldego, Cabernet Sauvignon also includes Gozen. Well to be honest I had never heard of it either but as it turns out Gozen is a Cabernet x Teroldego cross developed by the viticulturalist who came up with Rebo, Dr. Rebo Rigotti. Now wines like this may not be for everyone. They unabashedly wear their vegetal, ripe herbal tones proudly but if one is searching for something different with a real cool climate expression I whole hearted urge you to seek these wines out!
And on a slightly separate note, the Dorigati family is also the proprietor of Methius, a Spumante producer. Now maybe I shouldn’t have written that since this isn’t your typical spumante, it is in fact a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend made in the Methode Champenoise and aged on the lees for 5 years. Simply put it easily competes with the finest Sparkling wines of the world and has emerges as on of the absolute top Talento Trento Doc wines in the marketplace!
60% Chardonnay/ 40% Pinot Noir grown between 350 and 500 meters of elevation near Faedo. 35% of the Chardonnay is barrel fermented; the remainder of the wines are fermented in Stainless steel. Aged 5 years on the lees which include three strains of yeast to add complexity. Riddling twice a year, dosage at disgorgement to 6.5 grams liter residual sugar. Michele advises that the bottles need 7-8 months after being finished to fully integrate and then evolve positively for the better part of a decade.
Deep yellow in the glass with medium sized bubbles and a slight mousse. Smoky notes great the nose then slightly exotic banana tones, really opens up gradually revealing an incredible perfume of toast, dried pear, subtle integrated wood and citrus and floral topnotes. Apon entry there is a first wave of citrus tinged orchard fruits that are accented with light toast and yeast notes turning a bit darker on the back end with notes of nuts and even a touch of funghi entering the mix. The texture is very fine and soft in the mouth and the dosage keeps the wine round without being too obviously sweet. Finishing with great length and focus as the clear and crisp mineral and toast notes cleanse the palate. 94pts
Pinot Grigio 2007
From vines over 15 years of age grown in alluvial soil, a dollop, about 10% is aged in barrique.
Really intense nose of pear, spice, apple, and barrel tones greets the nos. The palate is soft, opulent and easy but there is good focus to the very pure flavors of white peach, pear and almost minty spice. This has a clean and crisp finish, which feels polished with its mineral and lemon drop finale. 87pts
Lagrein Kretzer 2007
This Rose is very typical of the region and it’s unusually pale color belie the lovely and intense notes of watermelon, green oily herbs, and mineral tones on the nose. Again clear and clean in the mouth with spicy strawberry fruit upfront, a touch of mineral mouthgrab across the midpalate and a bit of floral and herbaciousness tones on the brisk, uncomplicated finish. 87pts.
Rebo Rigotti 2005
Aged only in Stainless
Transparent deep ruby. Very youthful, smells like a barrel sample. A touch more on the vegetal Merlot side though with a nice touches of spice and light licorice tones. Light and loose in the mouth with very soft tannins and good acidity that support but light yet pure dark raspberry fruit on the mid-palate that lead to a nicely spiced backend. This shows more typical liquory fruit on the finish, which is a touch short, yet reveals nice brambly fruit. This is very restrained Rebo whose strength is drinkability. 87pts
Not quite opaque but dark ruby. Very spicy and soil driven notes on the nose over lightly brambly, blackberry fruit. Gains in the glass with emergent notes of ivy and better clarity to the blackberry fruit. Voluptuous in the mouth with gentle tannins and good acidity keeping the wine structured but soft. Almost a bit chewy and fairly mouth filling with excellent purity to the mineral tinged blackberry and brambly fruit. You can smell and taste the Piana Rotaliana in this wine! Full of fruit on the finish with typical length, which is to say not as much as I would like, but Teroldego tends to finish short. 90pts.
This is Dorigatis Teroldego Riserva and as such is a selection of the finest fruit from the historic Bagolari vineyard that sees 12 months in barrique, ½ new ½ used. The vines average about 35 years old and in some vintages the grapes spend a week or so drying on the vines. One interesting point with this wine is that Dorigati continue to use the traditional Pergola Trentina trellis. Many other producers have switched over to guyot but from y experience the Pergola produces a more transparent, more complex wine. That, however, is another discussion.
Dark opaque blood red. Dark fruit notes with a top note of spicy passion fruit greet the nose. The nose is slow to unfold with layers of peach skin, dark confiture of blackberry, a touch of wood toast, and a strong emergent violet note. Big and powerful in the mouth but still elegant with excellent purity to the berry fruit. A touch of sweetness from the wood adds a bit depth to the earthy forest floor tones that lie subtly under the fruit. There is good balance here to the fruit and wood tannins that bodes well for mid-term ageing and this seems like it will improve as the finish is very long and taut with great mineral and toast nuances and just a touch of drying tannin on the finale. This consistently racks among the finest “ Super Teroldegos” produced. 94 pts.
As is so typical of the region this is in fact a 50/50 blend of Cab Sauvignon and Cab Franc that sees only Stainless.
A lovely ruby color with very typical cassis fruit edged in vegetal tones. Pretty intense aromatics with herbal topnotes and emergent hints of eucalyptus. The entry is wetly fruited with lots of body, soft acidity and ripe tannins. Lovely depth of flavor and great balance with dark berry and plum fruit that leads to a crisp if brief finish. A bit simple but solid. 87pts
Grener is an old family name on the mother’s side that comes from the Val Gardena. A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon/ 30% Cabernet Franc/ 20% Carmenere. This is a Riserva bottling and saw 15 months in barrique.
Deep dark purple. Dark and earthy on the nose with jammy fruit and notes of charcoal, cocoa and talc adding complexity on the nose. Very deep and penetrating with a touch a vanilla framing the berried fruits. Thick and mouth filling with rich slight confiture of frutti di boschi supported by vibrant acidity and tannins which pop out a bit on the midpalate. Finishes with such aromatic intensity it’s almost floral in the mouth then turning more towards herbal candy/medicinal lozenge with a finale of baking spices. This is very young but very complete. With a bit of time to allow the tannins and wood tones to fully integrate this will be smashing. 91pts
Only 2000 magnums of this celebratory wine were produced. Vines are about 30 years old and the wine is a blend of roughly 50% Teroldego/25% Cabernet Sauvignon/ 12% Rebo/12% Gozen.
Lovely and very complex on the nose with floral and vegetal undertones to the deep, dark, somewhat mysterious fruit. Rich, soft and dense in the mouth with lovely acids and tons of soft tannin adding weight though this remains barely in the medium bodied. Spicy and peppery tones dominate the attack and are joined by minty nuances to the dark fruit with notes of blackberries, plum and a hint of date. Chewy yet so balanced this probably feels smaller than it really is with lovely cocoa and mineral tones on the medium length finish. I look forward to watching this unique wine develop. 93pts
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