2015 San Leonardo
Robert Parker | 97+ RP
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RP
The 2015 San Leonardo is a classic in the making. The bouquet is wonderfully perfumed with peppery florals, mixing tart cherry and blueberry with white smoke, hints of graphite and shaved cedar. Silky textures race across a core of juicy acids and minerals, making for a ripe yet cool-toned and pleasurably tactile expression. Youthful tannins slowly make themselves known toward the close. Long, structured and spicy, the 2015 finishes with a crescendo of tart blue and black fruits, tapering off to notes of subtly sweet spice. As good as this is today, it will only get better over time. That said, it doesn’t appear that this is going to shut down anytime in the immediate future, so it’s certainly worth checking on a bottle or two before forgetting the rest in your cellar.
Vinous Media | 95 VM
Creamy nose with cedar and plummy fruit. Firm on the palate with fine-grained tannins and a crunchy acidic core. Nominated by Jeannie Cho Lee MW. Drinking Window 2022 - 2040.
Decanter | 95 DEC
(San Leonardo Vigneti delle Dolomiti - Tenuta San Leonardo) This wine is an old vine blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and carmenère, with the first vintage having been created in this mountainous corner of the Alto Adige by Carlo Gonzaga in 1982. However, these grape varieties have a long history at this Trentino estate, as they were first planted here at the dawn of the twentieth century. The wine is aged for fully two years in French barriques, with the one third of the casks renewed each year. The vineyards are farmed organically, the wine fermented with indigenous yeasts in cement vats and the 2015 comes in at a svelte thirteen percent octane, with the cépages in this vintage being sixty percent cabernet sauvignon, thirty percent carmenère and ten percent merlot. The 2015 San Leonardo offers up a deep and nascently complex bouquet of dark berries, smoked meats, tobacco leaf, coffee grounds, a superb base of gravelly soil tones, a touch of sweet botanicals and a discreet framing of nutty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, young and elegant in profile, with fine focus and grip, ripe, buried tannins and a long, nascently complex finish that closes with a note of bitterness that reminds me of Emidio Pepe’s wines. This young wine takes a bit of time in the glass to blossom and is clearly built for long-term cellaring. I love its shape and aesthetic sensibilities and have to imagine that it is a gorgeous middleweight when it is fully mature, but this is the first vintage I have had the pleasure to taste. A new world to me that I intend to follow and see what San Leonardo tastes like when it is fully mature! (Drink between 2031-2075) | 93+ JG
Notes of wet tobacco, dried earth, cumin, cedar and dried red plums form the basis of the nose. Structured and serious on the palate with just the right amount of fruit to balance out the backbone of firm, austere tannins. Drink from 2021.
James Suckling | 92 JS
Wine Details for 2015 San Leonardo
|Type of Wine||
: There are dozens of grape varietals grown in Italy so no wonder they produce such a broad range of most exquisite wines. Some of the most cultivated red varieties are Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Sangiovese, and Barbera, while Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also popular. Among whites, you're likely to find Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, or Vernaccia varietals.
: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.
: Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.
Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.
The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.
The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.
With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.
: The tall, steep Dolomites in the far north of Italy with their towering peaks and nearly vertical sides provide a unique cozy shelter to the long valleys situated in their foothills. There, blessed by constant warm breeze and protected from any harm lies Trentino, home to a thousands of years-long winemaking tradition. The forty-degrees warm summers in this province may surprise first-time visitors, given the dramatic terrain of the location, but you could tell that Trentino lies within a sweet spot by their legendary wines alone, without ever having been there in person to see this place in its full glory. This is further confirmed by their expertise and skill in producing a variety of excellent wines, able to enchant a diverse audience of connoisseurs. Trentino's vast pedigree has been traditionally most notable for its honey-perfumed, sparkling, Chardonnay-based wines and the classic style of their production.
Besides the overachieving whites, Trentino offers a wonderful selection of red wines, made from indigenous Teroldego and Marzemino grapes, as well as some of the most renowned Bordeaux blends in Italy. Rich granite, earthy hues and unbelievably melty tannins are typical for this region. The options are many to choose from, though there's no need to limit oneself to sampling just one type of wine from this region.
|Subregion||Vigneti delle Dolomiti|