Tenuta di Trinoro 2020
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
Tenuta di Trinoro is always comprised of the first selection of grapes, a vintage-specific blend of cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot grown on thin, hard, rocky soils rich in quartz and limestone, which tend to come from the higher parcels of the estate.
18 September 2020
We go outside early in the morning and head for the vineyards; the air is already getting hot. We reach the closest rows of bear fruit, it’s being whipped by a southerly wind that is keeping summer hanging on the valley. I grab some berries of merlot, they don’t have much taste – it’s too early and the fruit is sugary and flat. The wind gets stronger every day, by the 30th of September I see some areas with clusters of fruit starting to shrivel. Then the wind grows deafening; rain bursts and starts falling white and loud over the vines and it keeps up for the next three days.
When it stops, the air has turned cold, the whole valley lays a bit darkened under the sun: I think that the season has finally broken. We wait two days for grapes to get dry, then we are back in the vineyards, tasting; this time there are plenty of aromas. Other people come up and join us from the winery as we stand in the vineyards savouring these berries getting used to our first tastes ripeness this year.
3 October, 2020
Very much on schedule for merlot, the new harvest starts. We are picking good lots of fruit. At the cellar, the winemakers get busy and take charge of the first loads of grapes of our vintage 2020. The cellar’s people are very good. They will move quickly from now on as the harvest intensifies, discerning and separating the harvest in tanks, each filled with must from the vineyard of origin. These first merlots send out rich aromas: they have absorbed drought first, then cold weather, then rain. While more pickers arrive in the morning, I venture into the higher vineyards to taste berries; they are freezing cold, everywhere thought they are ripe; by the next day we have finished picking all of them. There is a pause before our vines of cabernet franc come in season. For few days rain falls sparsely from rushing skies in the dim sunlight, until the 6th of October.
6-10 October, 2020
All grounds are very wet but a stronger sun burns over the vineyards; walking on the shining mud in the parcels of cabernet franc the grapes appear ripe now, all tracts are actually ripening quickly and it’s happening in the usual sequence for this estate. We call the team to harvest in cold an uncertain weather and continue for days in alternate light as big clouds rush over us. The grapes taste better every day; we pioneer the highest vineyards ahead of the picking team. Those parcels are the last and are crucial to us every year because of their special quality; it’s the 10th of October, we bring those grapes in the winery. This rainy year cabernet franc is showing a brilliant and intrepid sort of ripeness. It’s the result of the heat in September coming early, then the rains and the long bursts of sunlight.
December 7th, 2020
All wines are fermented and safely in the barrels; we are guessing what these wines will be like when we open them next February.
February 19th, 2021
The moon is at its first quarter: we have a long and double row of bottles sitting on the tasting table. Each one comes from a tank filled during the harvest of last year. All morning we sip and set aside the best wines to blend our Tenuta di Trinoro 2020; the bottles now are narrowed down to 6: four of cabernet franc and two of merlot. It is cold outside, but there is that distant sweetness in the air, like it happened every year in February when the moon is rising. It feels like a breeze from spring even in the middle of winter’s dark weather. We blend together the four wines of cabernet franc and make an impressive creature that is salty, concentrated, coiled, ready to spring. Cabernet Franc of last year has survived rains with its fat liquorice intact.
We try to mix in a percentage of merlot wines from the two best vineyards but that only gives us a fun everyday sort of wine; we try again, cut the amount of merlot in half, then again in half. Now the liquid burns with its power and it has added to itself a lush tail made of long attacks to the palate; we are delighted.
Then we count the amount of wine we have mixed to make this year Tenuta di Trinoro and we realize that it amounts to about half of what we make every year: we will have no more than 6.000 bottles. We sit back on our chairs in the lab of the winery and look outside the window at the snow on the ground hardening in the orange evening, and we also realize that we are a bit drunk.
Rich but not overly sumptuous in the nose, it’s characterized by small red fruits, currants and sour cherries, with delicate floral and herbal notes alongside a slight whiff of eucalyptus. it recalls the elegance of the vintage and the fresher temperatures that preceded the harvest of cabernet Franc.
On the entry, an enveloping sense of richness, then persistent and compact, with lush tannins still structured for long-term aging. A long finish, with a salty note that encourages a return to the glass.
Robertparker.com, Monica Larner, 97points: The flagship wine from Tenuta di Trinoro is this gorgeous blend of 92% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot. The 2020 Tenuta di Trinoro follows on the heels of the 2019 vintage that earned a perfect 100-point score. The 2020 vintage is more open-knit for sure, but it offers a very special view onto Cabernet Franc in particular. The plush black cherry softness of the Merlot is
aligned magically with the dark intensity and tannic power of the Cabernet Franc. The fruit ripeness is impeccable and there are no green tones, nor are there any overripe nuances. Everything comes together with balance. For the first time, this wine is being released with an extra year of bottle age. 6,000 bottles were made.
Jancis Robinson.com, Jancis Robinson, 18++ points: Exceptionally high Cabernet Franc: 92% (8% Merlot). Very good vintage but released after Andrea Franchetti’s demise by those who survived him. Harvest: Merlot 30 September to 2 October; Cabernet Franc 8–10 October. 6,000 bottles produced. Velvety purple. Lots of tannin and a much more structured wine than earlier vintages. A slower developer. Tea-leaf flavour. Kept back for a year before releasing it. 15% Drink 2028–2048
JamesSuckling.com, James Suckling, 96 points: So perfumed with violets and lavender with some currants. Medium- to full-bodied with polish and finesse. Racy and fine. Finesse with drive. Very elegant and straightforward with a racy texture. Very long and lightly edgy. 92% cabernet franc and 8% merlot. Drink after 2027 but already beautiful.
Decanter.com, James Button, 95points: 2020 continues the recent trend at Trinoro of only using Cabernet Franc and Merlot; but while 2019 represented the largest proportion of Merlot ever, 2020 switches this around to produce an almost pure Cabernet Franc wine, with just 8% Merlot. And it’s with this vintage that Trinoro adds an additional 12 months of maturation in bottle before release – hence this is the newest vintage on the market. Summer heat and drought was followed by four days of rain at the end of September and beginning of October, which cooled temperatures sufficiently to help preserve some acidity and aroma, just before harvest commenced for the Cabernet Franc, from 8-10 October. Balsamic, ripe and fresh, there’s a lovely richness of black berries and black cherry, with notes of cream, cocoa, wood, spice and cola. Super-textural and already complex, it shows a slightly fresher character than 2019, with delicious sapidity on the mid-palate and crunchy acidity. This has the potential to be a great Trinoro in the future, but only 6,000 bottles produced.
Wine Spectator’s, Bruce Sanderson, 96 points: A complex red hallmarked by incisive aromas and flavors of black currant, blackberry, black olive, violet, cedar and graphite. Mouthwatering, with all the elements in harmony. Long finish, revealing fine latent power underneath it all. Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2026 through 2042.
450-600 m asl