Collection: Tenuta San Leonardo

↓ Jump to the wines

Surrounded by blue skies, sloping vines and sublime Alpine mountains, the Tenuta di San Leonardo may be the most picturesque wine estate in the world. Originally a monastery, for three hundred years the Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga family have owned San Leonardo, bringing it from vinous obscurity to the very forefront of Italian winemaking. A long-time favourite of the cognoscenti, more recently the estate has recently achieved the global prominence it richly deserves.

In 2000, world-renowned consultant Carlo Ferrini took the reins, driving the quality of the wines to even greater heights. Additionally, San Leonardo completed its organic conversion in 2015, emphasising its commitment to sustainable practices.

Head Wine Guru Tom has been raving about San Leonardo ever since he first tasted the Grand Vin, and we have had the pleasure of working with proprietor Marchese Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga on a number of incredibly exciting projects and tastings for Club Members.

The wines of San Leonardo are more akin to Bordeaux than Bolgheri with their balance and purity and (said the late and greatly respected Italian specialist Nicolas Belfrage) "can have an elegance-cum-depth capable of taking on the best clarets of the world". Jancis clearly agrees, noting latterly the wine’s “astoundingly consistent quality” and how each vintage is “beautifully low-key and like the most refined red bordeaux imaginable”, determining it is "Surely the most successful Bordeaux blend of Northern Italy”.

The Wine

The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner calls San Leonardo “… one of the great wines of Italy… Sassicaia and San Leonardo seem like brothers separated in childhood” after James Suckling had previously made the comparison referring to San Leonardo as “The Sassicaia of the North”. The comparison is more than skin deep as San Leonardo’s owner Marchese Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, a rare example (at the time) of a professionally-trained aristocrat-oenologist, spent time at Tenuta San Guido back in the 1960s helping create Sassicaia with legendary consultant, Giacomo Tachis, whom he subsequently employed at his own estate. The estate has received the top ‘Tre Bicchiere’ rating from Gambero Rosso for an unprecedented seventeen vintages, and has twice been voted by aggregate Italy’s top wine release of the year (jointly with Sassicaia, to continue the comparison).

Antonio Galloni weighs in saying “The Guerrieri Gonzaga’s are one of the great families of Italian wine. Over the years, the Guerrieri Gonzaga’s have produced a number of stellar Bordeaux-influenced reds at San Leonardo, many of which I have had the privilege to taste.” Meanwhile his colleague at Vinous, Eric Guido, after a 28-vintage vertical, says “If you enjoy classic Bordeaux, if you enjoy the energy and verve of Italian wine, and if you crave experiencing history in a bottle, then you should seek out Tenuta San Leonardo”. He also concludes “I frankly don’t remember the last time I found so much pleasure in tasting for hours on end”.

The estate offers a thrilling range of wines, from entry-level vin de table to the legendary Grand Vin. Honest Grapes' Club Favourites include the remarkable Villa Gresti and Terre, exceptional Bordeaux blends that offer outstanding value reminiscent of second and third wines from Médoc crus. Another standout is the vibrant Vette di San Leonardo, a fresh and captivating Sauvignon Blanc.

In 2023, coinciding with the release of the exceptional 2018 vintage, Honest Grapes introduced Arte a San Leonardo, a limited-edition Grand Vin available exclusively through us. This remarkable offering consists of three individually numbered bottles of the 2018 San Leonardo, presented in exquisite packaging adorned with a label design and brochure crafted by artist Simone Berti. This annual collaboration with an outstanding modern artist allows San Leonardo enthusiasts to create a unique and cherished collection in their cellars. We also launched an exclusive Cabernet Franc barrel project with San Leonardo, which sold out rapidly (we would love to do this again so watch this space).

"One of my personal favourite Italian wines, unquestionably the top winery in the region and renowned as one of the most consistent – stylistically and qualitatively – in the whole of Italy, YET its wines remain extremely well-priced by comparison to more widely publicised names."
Tom Harrow