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2020 Sette Ponti Crognolo

2020 Sette Ponti Crognolo

93 JS


From the critics:

92 WE

91 DEC

90 WS

Featured Review
A soft and caressing red with a full body and plush, finely woven tannins. Plenty of dark cherry, mulberry, chocolate and some bark. Citrus zest and dried flowers, too. Lightly chewy at the end. 95% sangiovese and 5% merlot. Try in 2025. James Suckling

James Suckling | 93 JS

Critic Reviews

A soft and caressing red with a full body and plush, finely woven tannins. Plenty of dark cherry, mulberry, chocolate and some bark. Citrus zest and dried flowers, too. Lightly chewy at the end. 95% sangiovese and 5% merlot. Try in 2025.

James Suckling | 93 JS
At 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, this is a sculpted, perfumed second-vintage red with cranberry as well as cherry fruit and well-integrated oak. What makes this a winner, especially with food, is that the crystalline, racy fruit far outshadows the oak. It’s not old-school, but you’d still have to call it a traditional Tuscan wine.

Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE
New to the Place de Bordeaux this year, the second wine to the flagship Oreno. This is darkly scented with a floral-touched nose, blackcurrants, violet potpourri and liquorice. So juicy and seductive on the palate, this has a depth which is beguiling, layering the dark fruit, herbal and salty flavours on the tongue - a sweet, sticky almost liquorice blackcurrant added to by a black pepper and minty aftertaste giving some minerality to the palate. Nicely structured and round. This is ample and fresh - easy to drink with lots to like. Ageing for 12-14 months in tonneaux and barriques.

Decanter | 91 DEC
A firm red, featuring cherry and blackberry flavors, with mineral and tobacco accents. Shows depth and balance, with a solid layer of tannins lining the finish. Sangiovese and Merlot. Drink now through 2025. 12,500 cases made, 4,000 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 90 WS

Wine Details for 2020 Sette Ponti Crognolo

Type of Wine Super Tuscan/IGT : Many grape varietals are planted all over the world so they're not typical for one single country anymore. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc form part of many blends coming from different countries. Super Tuscan wines are produced in this Italian region, but grape varietals used in the making are not indigenous - those are mostly Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Varietal Proprietary Blend : 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.

Country Italy : 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.

Region Tuscany : Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.

Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.
Subregion Toscana


Producer Tenuta Sette Ponti : Tuscany is home to some of the greatest wine producers in the world; offering a diverse selection of wines from both indigenous and international grape varieties. The breathtaking Tuscan landscape is draped with vineyards which produce these tremendous wines. “It is among these rows that we begin making our wines, caring for the quality of our soils and our grapes.” – Antonio Moretti Cuseri, on his beloved Tuscan estate, Tenuta Sette Ponti. There is an attachment to the land and its sovereign rules, traditions and a respect for past and future generations and is something that Cuseri holds dearly.

The producer of the trendy “Super Tuscan” Oreno and the fabulous Crognolo, has joined the likes of Sassicaia and Ornellaia, in defying the opinion that great Italian wine should be made using solely indigenous grapes. While he respects the land and its undeniable contribution to the successful creation of a living, breathing wine, he also believes that the suitability of the soil pleads for it to be cultivated to grape varieties from other lands and allowing nature to take its course.

The story of Tenuta Sette Ponti begins in 1935 when Prince Amedeo (the Duke of Savoy-Aosta) first cultivated his property in the Arezzo Province of Tuscany. This establishment was in celebration of the prince’s victory over the Ethiopian Empire, resulting in the vineyard being named “Vigna dell’Impero” (Vineyard of the Empire). The vines planted were of ancient Sangiovese descent, which ended up being the only ones of their kind. These ancient Sangiovese vines continue to prosper on the Sette Ponti estate to this day and is the foundation of the eponymous wine label, Vigna dell’Impero, as well as the base for the Crognolo bottling.

Twenty years later, inspired by Tuscan viticulture and the history of its land, architect, Alberto Moretti Cuseri acquired the first 55 hectares from Prince Amedeo’s daughters, Princess Margherita and Maria Christina of Savoy-Aosta. He fully dedicated himself to his passion for viticulture, giving impetus to what today is the Tenuta Sette Ponti. Enthused by the great suitability (terroir) of the land, he began working the vineyards to produce grapes to sell to producers, but he didn’t make his own wine.

The estate really beings to take form in the 1990s when Alberto’s son, Antonio Moretti Cuseri, driven by passion and an interest in wine (which he had since he was young) took control of his father’s winery and worked alongside the best viticulturists and enologists in Tuscany to elevate the suitability of soil for the production of quality wines, thus launching his own brand; becoming the official birth of Tenuta Sette Ponti. He stopped selling his grapes to other producers and in 1998 released his first label: Crognolo, which is made from clones of the historic Sangiovese vines in the estate’s oldest vineyard, Vigna dell’Impero. His next big release happened a year later with the release of Oreno, a wine that after only three harvests reached the top of the most important world wine rankings. In-depth research, an incredible love for vines and for age-old expertise about the art of winemaking has made it possible for Sette Ponti to make exceedingly high quality, organic wines in line with Tuscan Traditions.

Today, Sette Ponti, named for the seven bridges (Sette Ponti translates to “Seven Bridges”) that extend over the Arno River on the road from Florence to Arezzo, has welcomed the third generation of the Cuseri family into the family business. The descendants have begun collaborating with their father, each placed in roles that suit their strengths. The new generation represents the company’s strong values, an expression of tradition and the great passion passed down by their father. A fresh and new vision of viticulture is strengthened by high-quality wines boasting an international flair, consistently gaining symbols of Italian excellence and authentic style. The Cuseri family wines have become masterpieces, treasured all over the world.

Nestled among the unique landscape of Chianti Classico DOCG (Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) sixty hectares of vineyards blanket the grounds around the sprawling, family-owned estate. The Central Tuscan location is considered prime real estate. The vineyards, which are 100% organic, are planted to Sangiovese (planted in 1935) Bordeaux varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Merlot, as well as Malvasia and Trebbiano, which is used in the production of their sweet dessert wine, Grisoglia. The estate is managed by expert farmers and agronomists whose aim is to make the highest quality wines possible and which get their start between the rows, as envisioned by its forefather. The portfolio includes the estate’s crown jewel, Oreno (produced from Bordeaux varietals) Crognolo (90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot) Vigna dell’Impero (100% Sangiovese, planted in 1935) Vigna di Pallino Chianti DOCG, Vigna di Pallino Superiore Chianti Superiore DOCG and Grisoglia IGT (Typical Geographical Indication). The superstars Oreno and Crognolo are both classified as IGT, but have become tremendously popular on the world market, with Oreno becoming a top-tier label and considered to have joined the ranks of “Super Tuscans.”

Behind each label is a special terroir; each varietal being cultivated in the most suitable soils. The terroir is generally comprised of crumbly, marl-like clay-sandstone soils, with some areas containing gravely clay and sand. Not only are these soils perfectly attuned to indigenous varietals, such as Sangiovese, but is incredibly agreeable to Bordeaux grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Because of the estate’s location, aspect, latitude, and longitude, the vineyards give life to unique wines full of elegance, longevity, and fruity aromas. The winds and lighter breezes from the nearby Pratomagno zone ventilate the vineyards, contributing to their health. The predominantly hilly region with vineyard elevations rising up to 550 meters above sea level give birth to a variety of soils and micro-climates.

Antonio Cuseri has great respect for the environment. A major goal at Sette Ponti is to combine high-plant density, spurred-cordon vine training and a low number of buds per plant to obtain carefully selected grapes appropriate to making unique wines. It starts with short pruning, careful green harvest, and thinning before picking. Grapes then arrive at the cellar and undergo a manual selection of individual grapes to maintain uncompromising quality. Similar to the growing and harvesting approach, each step in the vinification process is completed with the utmost care, respect for tradition, with minimal intervention.

Antonio Cuseri’s philosophy is that to make great wines it must start with great grapes. His innovative and fearless approach to viticulture, while still respecting tradition, has created a brand which is a symbol of success and refutation; for Tenuta Sette Ponti has risen to elite status by producing world-class wines from international grape varieties, disproving the ideal that only indigenous grape varieties produce great Italian wines.

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