Here's an Italian wine variety that you won't see very often, but man, what a grape! I was lucky enough to try the still version of Teroldego produced by Red Tail Ridge Winery in the Finger Lakes, and was quite impressed. It exhibited a lighter body than Cabernets, but had such a nice spicy, almond, red berry, oaky flavors. It was quite interesting. So I took a gamble and tried the sparkling version - which I was told is how the Italians traditionally produce this grape.
Truthfully, the variety reminded me of a flat land, cool climate Syrah. I was impressed to find that one of the parents of this variety, Dureza, is also a parent of Syrah. The similarities were amazing!
This is literally the type of wine a red wine drinker gets to enjoy with the risque edge of sparkling bubbles!
Deep red color with bubbles!
(Photo by author)
Please remember that these reviews are meant to be informative and somewhat informal. It's my overall opinion of the wine itself. Points:
- in the 90s mean I'll buy this wine over and over again;
- in the 80s mean that I'm glad I made the purchase, but probably won't be buying it as regularly as a 90-something wine;
- in the 70s means good one-time purchase (but probably not again), and
- anything below 70 means I'll probably never purchase that wine again unless someone convinces me! :) Enjoy!
2008 Sparkling Teroldego by Red Tail Ridge Winery
(Photos by author)
The D-2010 Scale
2008 Sparkling Teroldego by Red Tail Ridge Winery (Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes NY, United States)
Appearance (10 points possible): deep ruby red color with red edges and long, everlasting bubbles; lots of color density - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Red fruits, almonds, toasty, oaky, spicy, and a bit earthy. Refreshingly zippy with all the bubbles. - 17 points
Taste (10 points possible): The bubbles really help bring out the red fruit character of this wine. After you get over the fact that it's a red wine with bubbles, it's quite refreshing (make sure you serve chilled). Very smooth, medium-bodied with that carbonation prickly feeling on the tongue. Finish lingers with hints of toast, almonds, and red fruit. - 9 points
Balance (5 points possible): There's no real component that sticks out here. The acidity is not quite as sharp or crisp as regular sparkling wines, but there's enough there to make this refreshing. Can't really tell if there's a hint of sugar in the finish or not. Regardless, very well balanced. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): Alluring red fruits, hints of spice, almonds, and toast. May have slight residual sugar, but the finish lingers for a long time. It's quite a pleasant food-friendly wine. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible): I like the white Champagne bottle here - emphasizes the deep red color. Topped with a Champagne cork and capsule. Package is very well done. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible): Very traditional, classy label, which I think emphasizes the focus of the winery. I enjoy how the label does not take up the entire space on the bottle. It really keeps your eye focusing on the wine color instead of the label itself. - 8 points
Other (5 points possible): No big extras on this one. - 3 points
Total Points: 92 points
Overall Thought: I really enjoyed this wine. It was perfect for this time of year, too. As we start to transition into the warmer months, the chilled nature of this sparkling red wine allow someone to enjoy a deeper, medium-bodied red wine even when it's a touch warm outside. I probably also like this wine because it really reminded me of some Syrahs I've had, which is a variety I love. Plus, the winery is LEED certified. They are definitely working hard to be sustainable while producing high quality wine. There is something to say for that!
Food Pairings: I had this wine with a spicy Portobello mushroom sandwich and loved it. The earthiness of the mushroom paired nicely with the slight dirtiness and toastiness of the Teroldego. And the bubbles gave me a nice, refreshing palate after every sip!
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 3... This gets into the higher end of wines I review, but I think this is a fun wine. It's a talking point and a good change of pace compared to all the Cabs and Merlots people take. It's an adventure wine for those that don't like to be very adventurous. Definitely a wine that will be loved by red wine drinkers. Make sure you chill it!!
Where to buy: Check out Red Tail Ridge Winery for retail information