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Tenuta San Leonardo, San Leonardo, 2019 - 3L

Tenuta San Leonardo, San Leonardo, 2019 - 3L

Tenuta San Leonardo | Trentino, Italy | 300cl
  • Red Still
  • Organic
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot
Regular price £291.00
Regular price Offer price £291.00
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After banging the drum for the Guerrieri Gonzaga family’s remarkable (and remarkably consistent) Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend for the last fifteen years, having finally sampled the brand-new 2019 the other night with Club Members, to say we're buzzing about this new release would be an under-statement.

"A noble offering from the estate: Perfumed, supple, elegant, fine-boned, and balanced to perfection. There is rarely any fat on San Leonardo and the 2019 is no exception. Graceful, peppery red berry fruits and plums, violets, mint, and spicier, darker notes of cherry, cedar, and tobacco on the nose. The attack is savoury-edged and sapid, and fans out on the mid-palate with forest berries, tamarind, cacao nibs, and freshly milled pepper. Juicy acidity and long, lean tannins drive to an energetic, lifted finish."
Tom Harrow, Head Wine Guru

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 Advocate’s Monica Larner calls it “… 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”.

What the critics say:

98/100James Suckling

"The cool profile of this wine is clear from the fresh and spicy aromas of red currants and blackcurrants, leafy lightness, bell peppers and leather, with hints of smoke. The complexity of the nose is supported by an elegant palate (don’t look for power here), with a structure of filigreed tannins, crisp, integrated acidity, a medium body and a long, super savory aftertaste reminiscent of dark cherries. Drinkable now, but better from 2034."

96/100Eric Guido, Vinous

"The 2019 San Leonardo is impossible to ignore, embodying everything I love about this distinctly northern Italian Bordeaux blend. Masses of white pepper, sage, incense, sandy earth and fresh tobacco give way to dusty red currants. This is a model of elegance yet salty and savory to the core, with mineral-laden red and black fruits that flow across silky textures. The 2019 finishes classically dry with a crunchy tannic bite yet maintains an impossible freshness as savory herbal tones slowly fade. This is stunning, recalling the absolute top vintages I've ever tasted from San Leonardo."

19/20Matthew Jukes

"With the perfect amount of winter rainfall topping up the water table and a long, warm (but not too hot) summer, it was evident that this looked like a perfect harvest.  Classical winemaking is followed by 24 months of maturation in 1, 2 and 3-year-old barrels before bottling, and then it is released after a further two years of bottle-ageing.  While I have had the pleasure of drinking old vintages of San Leonardo (I remember a stellar 2004), and I can attest to its ability to age slowly and confidently, I was spellbound by the deliciousness of this newly released 2019 vintage.  It is stunningly lush and smooth with joyous freshness, which comes in early on the palate.  I love wines that taste unique, those with clearly defined hallmarks that come from their precise place on our planet.  The Alpine climate ensures that while the grapes are physiologically ripe, thanks to the bright sunshine, the acidity and vivacity on the palate are arresting, thanks to the cool nights.  This dramatic counterpoint of sleekness and freshness is enchanting.  Trying to track down this wine is often tricky (Honest Grapes is a reliable source and they stock magnums, too), but if you find some, you must buy it immediately.  While many of the world’s great vineyards must adapt their thinking on account of relentless climate change, San Leonardo appears untouched, tasting as elegant and sophisticated as ever."

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OUR GROWERS

Tenuta San Leonardo

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.

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