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Lezèr ("light" in local dialect) was a new wine born of the challenging 2017 vintage, when Foradori's Teroldego crop was roughed up by a summer hailstorm. The remains were turned into this short-maceration red wine, named for its light color and body. This first Foradori vin de soif was a wild success, and the family has continued making the wine in every vintage sense. They experiment every year with the mix of varieties, vessels and percentage of whole bunches. The fruit comes from a total of 8 hectares of vines scattered about in their village and beyond, on the sandy, gravelly alluvial soils so typical of this Dolomitic terroir. The spontaneous fermentation, short maceration and brief aging take place in a combination of cement, steel, old wood and amphora. Like the wine in the bottle, the label changes slightly each vintage.
Elisabetta Foradori is the top producer of Teroldego, an ancient, native grape variety that is related to Syrah and Pinot Noir. In 1985, at the age of 19, Elisabetta took over her father’s estate in the Campo Rotaliano zone of Trentino in the foothills of the Dolomites. At the time, Teroldego was an also-ran variety whose high-yielding grapes were either sold in bulk to co-ops or were being uprooted in favor of more saleable varieties such as Pinot Grigio and Merlot. Elisabetta, then a young-woman just out of enology school, doubled down on the grape. Utilizing seleccion massalle from her Pergola trained vines, she re-planted her vineyards using guyot training and high-density plantings, pruned her vines diligently, and introduced barriques to the aging regimen. By 1999, she was being referred to as the “undisputed top producer of Teroldego (Barolo to Valpolicella: Belfrage)” and had received numerous accolades, especially for her Granato, the most bold and concentrated of her Teroldego bottlings.
While her wines were satisfying the critics, they were not satisfying her. Elisabetta began experimenting with biodynamics in the 2000s as a means to introduce more energy and dimension to her wines. As her work in the vineyards evolved, the wines too began to change, from big and concentrated to a more textured and elegant style. In 2009, after having tasted the amphora aged wines of COS, she began experimenting with terra cotta tinajas made to order in southern Spain. Today, she ferments and ages her Teroldego Sgarzon, Teroldego Morei , and the white Nosiola Fontanasanta in these large (420-480 liter) amphorae. The results are a revelation; the wines are pure and concentrated with a clarity that is unique; these are game-changers.
In addition to the amphora wines mentioned above, Elisabetta continues to make her “basic” Teroldego IGT Dolomiti, a stainless steel fermented and barrel aged Teroldego from fruit planted in the sandy, alluvial soils of the Campo Rotaliano that shows all the classic dark-fruited aromas and flavors of the grape.
Denny & Katie
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop and tiny bar, focused on small production wines and conservas. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
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210 EAST VERMILION STREET LAFAYETTE, LA 70501
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