It’s been almost three and half years since I first featured the wines of Lodovico Antinori’s Maremma property Tenuta di Biserno that chronicled the estate’s beginnings and introduced the property’s two wines. A lot has changed in that time. Vines have matured, a third, premium flagship wine has been created but the commitment to quality has remained steadfast. Biserno is on top of their game.
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 is today 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 we’re talking about one of the newest releases from Tenuta di Biserno, simply called “Biserno”. This wine represents the finest fruit the estate produces from it’s 120 acre vineyard that generates fruit for Biserno. Like it’s younger sibling Il Pino, the wine is based on Cabernet Franc. Although consulting Winemaker Michel Rolland tweaks the composition based upon the characteristics of any given vintage, a representative blend is 40% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The grapes are harvested and then sorted by hand on vibrating belts as the berries go down into the cellar. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and the wine ages in new French barrique for 15 months and then 12 months in bottle prior to release.
The 2012 Tenuta di Biserno, “Biserno” is a brooding monster. It’s a deep violet to purple color with only a slight fade at the rim of the glass. Floral and charming on the nose, with aromas of violets, black fruits, toasted oak, green herbs and spices, this is very much “primary” at the moment but seems to hint at great aromatic promise. On the palate, the wine gives way with flavors of black plum, toasted vanilla bean, minerals and mocha. The texture is velvety and what I call lavish; almost aristocratic. Yet from the mid-palate to the finish, this masculine, full bodied wine is quite tannic and not at all pleased that it was pressed into service this soon along its evolution. With the grilled flank steaks drizzled with pesto, things were tamed slightly, but this is a monstrous wine whose more austere nature is too prominent now. Set this in your cellar for a decade and I think you’ll be rewarded. Tough to pin down so I’m providing a range: 91-94 points. About $100 so treat it like Ornellaia or Sassicaia. Find this wine.
Salute! Buon Settimana…….