Our last big dinner of 2011 was a cracker, no older vintages here as this is a new project but one set for great things I think. The actual launch was last year at Mossiman’s so this year was a lower key and focussed dinner here at C&B’s HQ. We began as we always do, with good reason, by having Delamotte NV, delicious.
After a warm welcome from Adam, Lodovico Antinori, a legend of the wine world, then started proceedings with a little background to this estate – Tenuta di Biserno in Bibbona just up the road from Bolgheri. The estate had at one time been earmarked for possible inclusion in Ornellaia but as sometimes happens this never occurred and instead Lodovico has decided that this will be his “last great” project. The estate is planted with a predominance of Cabernet Franc but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot (in more than it’s token Bordeaux amounts). The wines we were to taste and drink are from the first two released vintages- there were bits of 2006 made but essentially this is a story that starts from the 2007 vintage.
Over the first course of Oriental Duck Salad we had the three wines from 2008. Il Pino di Biserno which is the 2nd wine of the estate and was wonderfully easy to appreciate even now but with more to come in the medium term. Biserno which is the main wine of the estate and showed brilliantly (for me the wine of the night if I had to pick one); it has excellent balance and harmony that means the abundant fruit is kept in check with a framing structure that is a very complete scenario. Finally Lodovico which is from a specific plot within the estate and will not be made every year – there will be no 2009 and a minute 2010 for instance. This is a brooding wine of great depth and in need of time though impressive even now, it will be very interesting to see the development of Biserno vs Lodovico in each vintage when they are both made. These 2008’s were very impressive as there is the Tuscan warmth and ripe richness but you get a feeling of a cool structure too, classical is an overused word in wine these days but there is a good “dollop” of this here.
With the rest of the menu we had the 2007’s of the same three wines in larger formats, something I love and which add to any occasion. The generalisation of the 2007 vintage is that the wines are softer, more lush at the moment and very expressive. The density of 2008 is replaced with a more opulent feeling. So first up was Il Pino in Magnum, this is ready to go now, I will keep some but this would be a “restaurant cracker” of a wine with the Mossiman’s signature Risotto ai Funghi it was brilliant. What followed with the Roast Venison and then Welsh Rarebit was the Biserno and Lodovico both from Jeroboam. The Biserno was a little more closed than the other two 2007’s but with the food the texture was very classy. The Lodovico with the food was a star, the richness and almost flamboyance matching brilliantly for a hedonistic finale. It is great to be in on an estate from the off whether you are a buyer or a seller and this feels the case here. Meeting and listening to Lodovico speak about the wines adds a lot as there is a sense of fun and humour (and a twinkle in the eye) that means you just know you are in safe but exciting hands.
There will be more dinners in 2012, of that I am sure!