Antoni Terni is the man in control at Le Terrazze. He is the grandson of the man who first planted this estate in 1882. Far from being a typical Italian winemaker, he was born in Argentina and worked as a nuclear engineer before deciding to take over the family wine business.
Terni has become Le Marche’s most celebrated producer of quality Italian red wine, most notably the classic Montepulciano-based Rosso Conero and the super-Marchigiano (yup, you read correctly, a super-Marchigiano) blend sold under the label “Chaos” — named after the chaos theory, which dictates that a particular result cannot always be explained by the interaction of its components. In this case, the combination of Montepulciano, Syrah and Merlot.
An interesting and complex nose — cherry, rhubarb, hints of balsamic and candied twizzler (and a little hot, which will probably soften with a little time or decanting). Dark berry, chocolate, velvety, cassis and some tobacco — very nice balance, soft tannins and clean finish. This is really a lovely wine — that has really evolved nicely since I last tasted it some 3 years ago.
In addition to being a brilliant winemake, Antonio Terni is a huge Dylan fan and wanted to create a “spiritual wine that paid homage” to the poet that sings. In 1997, he released the vintage driven Rosso Conero “Visions of J.,” titled after the Bob Dylan song. The wine captured the coveted Tre Bicchieri award (one of many) and a host of other critical acclaim. It even captured Dylan’s attention after Terni sent a few bottles backstage at a European concert. One taste and Dylan requested to be part of Terni’s next effort, “Planet Waves.” The name is taken from Bob Dylan’s 1974 album of the same title. The maverick winemaker does not compromise quality for celebrity status; Terni creates the wine and Dylan endorses it. Obviously he could produce 10,000 cases and sell it all at a nice price. Instead, production is limited to less than 500 cases.
Antonio is brilliant. I wish he was a friend of mine…….not the easiest wines to find — but certainly worth the effort.