Marchese Lodovico Antinori, founder of Tenuta di Biserno, is a talented man. He is part of the legendary Antinori family and its equally famous business that can trace roots back to the 14th century.
However, this chapter of the family story begins with Lodovico in 1981 and in relatively unknown Bolgheri. Going against conventional wisdom, he planted classic Bordeaux varietals, leading to the birth of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia. Fast forward 30 years, Ornellaia has achieved an impressive reputation and earned its place in history.
Lodovico ended the chapter leaving Ornellaia in 2002. Some thought it a sell-out; perhaps he longed for another chapter of creation.
In 1994, Lodovico acquired a property that was different from Ornellaia. It was hillier and stonier leading him to decide against using it for Ornellaia. This land became the foundation for what is known as Tenuta di Biserno. Biserno benefits both from good exposure to the sun as well as cooling sea breezes. There is a similarity to the soils of Masseto, with silt, alluvial sand and clay.
“Tenuta di Biserno is a 90-hectare estate situated in coastal, western Tuscany, hidden amongst the hills of Bibbona in the Upper Maremma”
At the Bibbona vineyards, Lodovico plants exclusively Bordeaux varietals – Cabernet Franc, followed by Merlot, some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
“High density maritime sediments and clay, on well-sheltered, north-west slopes provide ideal conditions for the Merlot, whilst free-draining, gravelly sites, higher up, are perfect for the Cabernets.”
Recently, at a tasting in Singapore, Spirited Singapore met with Helena Lindberg, Biserno’s winemaker. She
developed her passion for wine while working as a food scientist. As a wine expert, she spent two years in
Australia’s Barossa Valley with Yalumba followed by a stint in New Zealand for three years. She returned to Europe to study at the Faculté d’Oenologie in the Languedoc, and joined Lodovico in 1994.
We tasted the following wines at this event:
Pino 2010: Mineral, black fruits, bitter tea, robust with a short finish. After opening up, more bitter tea, longer finish
Biserno 2010: Clear, ruby colour; Bitter tea, herbal smell, tannins, blackcurrant/ribena-ish, coffee-ish, mushrooms. An elegant wine, light intensity, well-balanced
Ludovico 2010 (Blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot): Clear ruby colour, Black fruit, plums, blueberries, cherries, minerals, spices. Robust, powerful, medium intensity and a long finish
We asked Helena for her opinion about the wines:
“Concentration is not everything. It’s about balance, elegance. We want people to enjoy a second glass and not stop at one.”
And to end the session, Helena shared an opinion about being a women in the wine industry.
“I grew up in a male environment, like when I studied engineering, and used to working with men. It’s very much down to individual style and how you want to work with your colleagues and team. Do your job, work hard and you get treated for what you do. I don’t see myself as a female winemaker but a winemaker that happens to be a woman.”
We are definitely looking forward to seeing and tasting more of her work in the coming years.
Tenuta di Biserno’s wines are distributed by Corney and Barrow in Singapore since 2010.