The magic of the wines coming from Elisabetta Foradori's estate at the Dolomite Mountains in Trentino has been well documented here before. July's Pinot Grigio offer quickly sold out, and today we turn to her new release: the most obscure, and definitely the most subtle of her skin-contact whites, the 2015 Fontasanta Nosiola.

In a world where skin-macerated whites seem to be vying for the title of orangest, haziest, apricottyest, the elegance and grace in Nosiola is a reminder of the possibilities. Aged on the skins in amphora, the result is a bright, orchard and citrus mountain stream with an amazing texture that never once makes you think orange wine. As compared to Elizabetta's Pinot Grigio and Manzoni Bianco, Nosiola is leaner and less obviously skin contact. Its subtlety is what impresses the most.

Nosiola is an ancient variety that's native to the Trentino. Plantings have reduced drastically over the last centuries, and today is primarily in these hills in the
Valle dei Laghi above Trento and Pessano. Nosiola really strives in porous soils, planted here on just two hectares of a limestone/clay mix. The delicacy and more reserved nature of this white is largely attributed growth on these depleted soils. And, long maceration on skins in clay amphora (tinaja from Villarrobledo, Spain) slowly coax out Nosiola's personality. Decanting and serving above 60 degrees is highly recommended.

I've lost count of the number of times the skin-fermented whites from Elisabetta have floored customers, opening a new avenue for discovery in this realm. Foradori is the first place I turn for introductions into this category that's seen a wave of enthusiasm build over the last decade.

Elisabetta's journey to being one of the most respected natural wine producers in the world came with challenges. Her family purchased this Trentino estate in 1934, her father bottling his first vintage in 1960. His untimely passing in 1976 meant that her mother had to manage the winery until Elisabetta finished her enology degree, then being thrust into the 1984 harvest and taking control of production thereafter. 

The philosophical trek for Elisabetta was a winding one that began with the immediate removal of high yielding pergola-trained vines. She wisely chose massale cuttings from the estates oldest vines and trained them much lower in the guyot method. Her approach brought a new concentration to the wines that garnered awards in the 90's, but she felt their was an energy and vitality missing.

Upon familiarizing herself with Rudolf Steiner's teachings she slowly adopted biodynamic principles and eliminated laboratory yeasts. Sulphur additions were lowered, riper stems began to be included in ferments, and a more gentle extraction protocol was used. She also began visiting Giusto Occhipinti at COS, learning about the use of clay amphora for aging.

2015 Foradori Fontanasanta Nosiola
$47 per bottle.
Macerated for 8 months on skins in amphora, then aged 2 months in acacia and oak casks.

Also available:

5x 2016 Foradori Fuoripista Manzoni Bianco
$34 per bottle

A cross between Riesling and Pinot Bianco, developed by Dr. Manzoni in the 20th century. It comes from the clay and limestone Fontanasanta hills above Trento. It's macerated for one week on its skins in cement tank and then pressed off into Acacia barrels for 12 months aging.

2x 2010 Foradori Sgarzon Teroldego IGT
$66 per bottle.

3x 2013 Foradori Granato Teroldego IGT
$59 per bottle.

4x 2014 Foradori Sgarzon Teroldego IGT
$47 per bottle.

2x 2014 Foradori Teroldego IGT
$27 per bottle.