The SOMM Journal

June / July 2018

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72 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2018 In each issue, the editorial team at The SOMM Journal will deliberate through wine submissions and release final judgment on select wines that garnered scores of at least 90 points. The "joury" will also feature an esteemed guest sommelier. Stephen Ross Founder/Winemaker Stephen Dooley. Marchese Lodovico Antinori. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS The Biserno estate is located in the Upper Maremma on the Tuscan coast. The elevation there ranges from 250–300 feet above sea level. Calling this his last winemaking project, Lodovico Antinori reunited with his brother Piero to create their first joint venture: Tenuta di Biserno, a variety show in which Cabernet Franc plays the main role. The temperate maritime climate in the Upper Maremma on the Tuscan coast was thought to be a perfect location for this estate, which Lodovico refers to as a "playground for expression." Tenuta di Biserno 2015 Il Pino di Biserno ($75) is dense, black-fruited, and inky: muscular and chewy with a satin soul. The plum notes go preternaturally sweet and juicy as violets bloom mid-palate. 96 Tenuta di Biserno 2013 Biserno ($180) shows depth and balance with ripe black fruit and spiced cedar. 96 Tenuta di Biserno 2013 Lodovico ($425) is only available in limited quantities, with the Cab Franc and Petit Verdot hailing from a distinct parcel with a singular expression called Vigna Lodovico. Bold, dusty tannins surround notes of graphite and textural plushness. The blackberries are ripe and marked by iron, cherry cedar, espresso bean, and lavender. The delivery of liquid is luxurious across the palate. 100 Super (Tuscan) Heroes Lolla-Palazzo Grammy-nominated music producer/director Scott Palazzo has been making wines that fit into the "cult" category in Napa for just under a decade now, including his latest release of Bordeaux-inspired reds. He made his first vintage of Right Bank Proprietary Red in 2003, and ten vintages later, the Palazzo 2013 Right Bank Reserve ($90) from Napa Valley is a creature of fresh - ness and firmness. The blend of 68% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cab Sauvignon has aromas akin to drinking that first cup of coffee on a spring morning after a night of rainfall. The earth's perfume rises out of the ground and the mocha in the beans transcends the glass as black fruit comes in mid-palate. This wine is focused with fury. Dry tannins are tempered with a sweet plum-and-cassis wrap. 95 On the other side, the Palazzo 2015 Left Bank Red Cuvée ($50) leads with Cabernet Sauvignon and blends in Merlot and Cab Franc. This is Pala - zzo's first go at this style and he didn't produce a Right Bank blend for this vintage. This wine is chewy, cheerful, and cherry-laden, casting pomegranate and rhubarb in a brilliant light amidst dark chocolate and tilled soil. 95 PHOTOS COURTESY OF SCOTT PALAZZO Scott Palazzo.

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