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Lush oaky blackcurrant nose, forthright and assertive but not too charred. This has a sweet attack, its richness and concentration cut by sinewy tannins. This is in a muscular style but isn’t tough thanks to its underlying sucrosity, and fine acidity gives it persistence and drive.Decanter | 93 DECThe 2000 San Leonardo comes from a relatively uneventful vintage and displays classic characteristics of the wine, without extreme high or low points. In fact, this vintage will be remembered for its even-keeled nature and abundant fruit generosity. The wine still tastes young, despite its 15 years in the bottle. It opens to plush cherry, blackberry, Indian spice and tobacco. There’s a point of strong firmness to the tannins that suggest it needs a few more years in the bottle. Harvest was finished on time by mid-October. By the 2000 vintage, Tenuta San Leonardo had reached its current average production of 95,000 bottles per year.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPDusty rose, a mix of dried cherries, black currant, plums and smoky minerality make the 2000 San Leonardo a total pleasure. Round textures give way to ripe red and black berry fruit, contrasted by a mix of stimulating acids and minerals. Fine tannins slowly mount toward the finale, which is long and spicy, leaning more toward the sour red fruit end of the spectrum. Peppery herbs linger, along with just a hint of heat that creates a warming effect, yet there’s no lack of balance. This warm and dry vintage created a larger-scale San Leonardo, which may not enjoy as long of a life as some of the surrounding years. Still, it is drinking beautifully right now and at no risk of decline in the immediate future.Vinous Media | 91 VM
The 2015 San Leonardo pours forth with a beautiful velvety appearance and sultry dark garnet color. This wine shows a lot of life and dark fruit purity with black plum, blackberry, cassis and tarry prune. There is a delightful note of black pepper that is specific to this warm and sunny vintage. The fruit shows softer and richer concentration compared to past vintages and more pulpy density that gives this edition a bigger profile in terms of mouthfeel. Production is 75,000 bottles. San Leonardo is a wine made for long aging, but the nice thing about this vintage is that the bouquet remains quite accessible at this young age. Nevertheless, I’d still suggest keeping this bottle in your cellar so that it can calmly finish its evolution.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe 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 VMCreamy 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+ JGNotes 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
A wine to drink at least 10 years from now, the 2016 San Leonardo is positioned to be enjoyed in the far long term. Like its Tuscan cousin from Bolgheri, Sassicaia, San Leonardo from the mountainous north of Italy is always a wine that starts off quietly but that grows in intensity and complexity as it completes its bottle evolution. This elegant vintage reveals beautiful tones of dark berry fruit, spice and freshly milled white pepper. The wine is exceptionally balanced, fresh and long. I can’t wait to come back to this vintage 10 or 20 years from now.Robert Parker The Wine Advocate | 97+ RPAnother year in bottle has added unexpected depths and dimension to the 2016 San Leonardo. It wafts up with an alluring bouquet of smoky black currant and plum skins, complicated by savory herbs, hints of white pepper and fresh tobacco. It’s hard chiseled edges have formed into smooth contours now, velvety yet youthfully dense, washing mineral encased dark red and black berries across a core of brisk acidity as a combination of saline-minerals and grippy tannins add tension toward the close. This finishes incredibly long yet also structured, begging for time in the cellar, as hints of licorice and earth tones grumble under an air of inner violet florals. The potential within the 2016 San Leonardo is off the charts, yet it will require a good amount of time to come fully into focus. Bury your bottles deep.Vinous Media | 96 VMA very elegant, classic Bordeaux blend in the Italian context, but this is actually a special wine in any context, thanks to its subtlety and aromatic complexity. Blackcurrant, black-cherry and mint notes with just a hint of red bell pepper. Finely etched, medium-bodied palate with crisp tannins and lively acidity. The elegant tannins carry the long, cool finish. Drinkable now, but better from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JSA lovely beam of black currant and fig cake flavors play off savory bay leaf and olive tapenade notes in this elegant, medium- to full-bodied red, which is fresh and focused, with good tension from a core of sculpted tannins. Long and fragrant on the creamy, mineral- and spice-laced finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot. Drink now through 2036. 5,900 cases made, 650 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS
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