Sibling rivalry. Differences of opinion. And finally, reconciliation. That’s the 10 second tale in the history of Tenuta di Biserno which essentially has it’s roots in the Antinori breakup of the 1970s.
Piero Antinori, patriarch of the famed Florentine wine firm and one of the power houses of central Tuscany and his brother Lodovico suffered what many brothers and especially wine families do; they had a falling out over professional philosophy. So in 1981, Lodovico split from the firm, moved to the Tuscan coast, and went on to establish one of the icons of Maremma viticulture: Tenuta dell’Ornellaia.
During his time running Ornellaia, Lodovico learned of another property from his General Manager when they were searching for vineyards to expand the Ornellaia estate. Upon the discovery of what today is Tenuta di Biserno, Antinori realized that the incredibly rocky and boulder strewn estate would be a sizeable endeavour and a project unto itself. Therefore, in 2002, with Ornellaia and Masseto fetching world class acclaim, Antinori sold Tenuta dell’Ornellaia and set about creating his new estate. He enlisted the help of his brother Piero and after renewing their relationship, Tenuta di Biserno was born.
Today, this renewed commitment is pictured on the estate coat of arms, which features two wild boars (Piero & Lodovico) facing one another.
Recently we checked in on the 2009 Tenuta di Biserno Il Pino over the long holiday weekend and from start to finish, this was one dynamite wine from Alta Maremma. We did not decant the wine, but opened it about 60 minutes before dinner. There is a slight chunky sediment in the bottom of the bottle, so if you’ve got them, decant them. The Il Pino blend follows the makeup of the vineyard plantings and is 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.
Not often do you taste a wine and appreciate the impact of each varietal in the blend, but in this case, that’s exactly how this wine is presenting itself. The Petit Verdot darkens the wine, the Franc is imparting violet and blue flower aromas, the Cabernet Sauvignon is displaying that rich, brooding dark fruit and cedar components while the Merlot is lending a luxurious, velvety mouth feel with hints of dark chocolate undertones on the palate. This is interesting, ripe, rich and balanced. The tannins have pretty much fully resolved so there’s no need to wait to drink this. Would be perfect with Christmas Roasts of any kind. For something that is supposedly an estate “second wine” there’s no complaints here. 92 points. Wonderful value around $50. Price varies like crazy so shop around. I found this locally a few weeks ago and the retailer has about 4 cases of it. Find this wine.
Locals wanting to find this wine may email me and I will put you in touch with the retailer. The Wine Searcher link above does not display this exact vintage.