Tenuta di Biserno could hardly be more exciting for it is the progeny of two brothers; Lodovico Antinori who was responsible for the creation of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia and Piero Antinori who created Tignanello. Over the last 25 years Lodovico was head of the MLA group, who specialised in creating luxury brands and founded the avant-garde estates Ornellaia and Masseto, before selling the company at the beginning of the 21st Century. Marchese Piero Antinori is arguably the most influential man in Italian wine-making and was one of the first Italian producers to experiment with new grape varieties, which resulted in the world-famous Tignanello, one of the first and truly great Super Tuscan wines.
The two brothers have now come together for the first time to invest their passion, desire, savoir-faire, capital and innovation in their new project, Tenuta Biserno. Moreover, they have brought in the most famous oenologist and consultant in Bordeaux, Michel Rolland, who in his own words ‘could not refuse’ this project or Lodovico. As such Tenuta di Biserno has the strongest wine-making team in Italy and probably the world.
Biserno is cited in the coastel area of upper Maremma, among the hills of Bibbona, which was previously unidentified as a wine producing area. Lodovico discovered this parcel of land through his general manager at Ornellaia, Dante Scanavino who purveyed the quality of the land and its terroir. Lodovico was astonished by the similarities between the terroir here and that of Masseto, in fact Lodovico states that the vineyards of Bibbona and Bolgheri meet each other ‘very similar to saint Emilion and Pomerol’. Ludovico saw elements in the soil that inspired him to plant Cabernet Franc, which he thought would thrive in this terroir.
The brothers planted the vineyard with the established Bolgheri DOC varietals, yet maintained a greater use of Cabernet Franc, followed by Merlot. They also planted a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and a relatively high preponderance of Petit Verdot, which ripens perfectly in the sunny Tuscan hills. The 35 ha Biserno Estate is composed of complex soil, which boasts silt, alluvial sand and in certain areas, high percentages of clay, combined with Bolgheri conglomerate (the indigenous soil), which is rich in minerals apparent in the wine. Even more promising is that Tenuta di Biserno has far more hillside slopes and a great many more stones than either Ornellaia or Masseto.
All the grapes are hand-picked and sorted before entering the state of the art winery, designed by the world famous architect Gae Alulenti. Biserno is selected from the very best plots in the Estate and undergoes malolactic fermentaion in 65% barrique and 35% stainless steel. This high percentage of oak fermentation adds greater integration, complexity, finesse and helps create more velvety tannin. It is then aged for 15 months in new French oak, followed by 12 month in bottle. Il Pino Biserno undergoes malolactic fermentation in 20% barrique and 80% stainless steel. The 75% is aged for 12 months in new and second hand oak, with the remainder in stainless steel. It is then aged six months before release.
This is an Estate to take notice of and to start collecting now, before its fame becomes mainstream off the back of this incredible Antinori partnership and the extraordinary quality of the wine. The 2009 Biserno is their greatest effort yet scoring 95 points from all three major critics, Galloni, Suckling and Larner, while at £150 a case of six the Il Pino 2010 is a must buy wine, scoring 94 points form Antonio Galloni. The Biserno’s average case price over the last five years is upwards of £600, while Il Pino’s average case of six price is £200 and upwards.
Tenuta di Biserno 2009, 6×75 – £350 IB or £434.76 incl. duty and VAT
Antonio Galloni – 95 points
‘Biserno Sweet grilled herbs, incense, pine, menthol and espresso are some of the many notes that burst from the glass in the 2009 Biserno. Wonderfully alive and opulent, the 2009 is totally spherical in its expression of black fruit. Layers of fruit continue to build in the glass as the wine flows through to a creamy, expressive finish.’
Il Pino di Biserno 2010, 6×75 – £150 IB or £194.76 incl. duty and VAT
Antonio Galloni – 94 points
This is a gorgeous set of wines from Lodovico Antinori. Not surprisingly, the rich, powerful style bears a passing resemblance to wines Antinori made at Ornellaia, yet over the last few years, these wines have begun to develop their own personalities.
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