Antidoto is barely made – given the lightest, cool, simple and short fermentation in concrete vat (fermentation finishes off skins once a certain density is realised). Maturation is gentle and matter-of-fact, in clean old 600 litre barrels for 10 months. 70% of the fruit is from very old vines (there is no white fruit in this blend), and stems are excluded. Bertrand is trying to render old vine character as deftly as possible, in particular to avoid over-extraction and excess concentration: “avoiding the tannin avalanche”. The wine is filtered lightly, and not fined.
“A very well organised wine”, as Bertrand says, Antidoto features blackberry fruit, ink and graphite, tobacco and earth in a typical but very calm Ribera del Duero nose. The sense of reserve and harmony continue on a gently rounded, deft palate. Bramble, spice and red florals lead, choc-cherry-game and gently earthy back notes follow. Gentle traces of old-vine heartwood (clove, pepper husk and mace) run through the nose and palate, dangling and wandering, expressing harmoniously through the delicately handled, barely extracted juice. Antidoto is not heroic winemaking, it’s a poem. Understated, understood.