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Tenuta San Leonardo San Leonardo Trentino-Alto Adige 2017  - First Bottle


95 Decanter -
The 2017 vintage of San Leonardo is one of the smallest productions in recent memory: not only did it hail twice in August, drastically reducing the crop, but one of the vats cracked and the winery lost the equivalent of around 15,000 bottles of wine. Despite the challenges, it's a typically elegant red, full of scents of balsam, spicy black and red berries, tobacco and earth. A tangy attack of sweet fleshy red fruits is followed by some spicy, earthy currants on the mid-palate and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Intense, super-fresh, fragrant and complex, the long finish shows flecks of tobacco and balsamic lift.
95 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
The Tenuta San Leonardo 2017 San Leonardo (in a heavy glass bottle) shows subtle but unmistakable generosity and exuberance that is absolutely in line with this hot vintage. In this regard, the 2017 stands apart from past vintages from this estate that is celebrated for its elegant, undertone and long-term approach. This wine is slightly more accessible too, with plush, dark fruit, balanced oak spice and perfumed rose over a polished, silky mouthfeel.
94 James Suckling -
You could easily mistake the stunningly deep and subtle nose of this Sub-Alpine red for a high-end Medoc wine from the same vintage (which was on the restrained side). A super-elegant, mid-weight cabernet sauvignon-dominated blend with plenty of fine tannin married to blackcurrant and forest-berry fruit, plus touches of licorice, savory notes and bitter chocolate at the very long finish. Drink or hold.
93 Wine Spectator -
An elegant red that's sleek and fresh, setting ripe red and black currant, green olive and a fragrant thread of cured tobacco and eucalyptus in a well-tailored, medium- to full-bodied frame. Revealing tension and drive, with a taut structure from the fine-grained tannins, this needs time in the glass or decanting to fully express itself. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot. Best from 2024 through 2030. 5,900 cases made, 1,300 cases imported.

Technical Details

  • BlendCabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot
  • CountryItaly
  • RegionTrentino-Alto Adige
  • AppellationTrentino-Alto Adige
  • OakFrench oak barrels (new, once and twice used)
  • Aging/Cooperage24 Months
  • Alcohol13.5%

Tenuta San Leonardo San Leonardo Trentino-Alto Adige 2017

Super Tuscan Blends  |  Italy
DC95, RP95, JS94, WS93

20% off retail!

Ground shipping included on 2 or more bottles!

Double 95 points and a wine that Jancis Robinson declares to be "surely the most successful Bordeaux blend of northern Italy..." – well, that should be enough to grab anyone's attention! You’ve heard of top-notch Bordeaux blends from Tuscany, Napa, Australia, and beyond...but Trentino in northern Italy? Indeed. And it is epic...

Tenuta San Leonardo is among the most historically relevant estates in all of Italy and without question the most important in all of Trentino. From ancient royal weddings to a hospice servicing returning crusaders, to hosting numerous popes, and even holding a summit for a major cease-fire treaty of the World War I – there’s a lot to digest here – even without the wine! But luckily, we just get to focus on the wine – double 95 points, over $25 below retail, and screamingly delicious...this is the rare northern Italian Bordeaux blend that sets the bar for the best of the best.

Set amongst the dramatic backdrop of the Lessini Mountains mountains, in the Adige River valley, San Leonardo has been producing wines since 1724. The vineyards are deep in the valley, planted at 150 meters in elevation, under the spectacular shadow of Monte Baldo (seriously, Google it!) in a cool region that often ensures the vineyards are buried in snow for the winter. Wine would scarcely be possible here were it not for the Ora del Garda wind – a warm and dry breeze that flows in throughout the growing season, passing over the idyllic Lake Garda.

The blend is a stable 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% carmenère, and 10% merlot virtually every year, with a native yeast fermentation in small concrete tank, followed by a full two years in a mixture of 1-3 year-old French oak barrels. The wine demonstrates a remarkable intensity – with many critics comparing it favorably to a high-end Medoc Bordeaux in a cool vintage. I’m on board with that, as the elegant aromatics reveal cherry and wild berry sensations, punctuated with green tobacco leaf, and earthy duff and mineral elements. Tart currants, green olive, and myriad bramble berries are expressed on the palate, with notes of licorice, baking spice, and dark chocolate shavings completing the picture. It is a nuanced, highly-polished, and stunningly complex bottle – and one that will show superbly for 20 years, easy. 2017 was a warm vintage for the region, and given this extreme climate, I feel it only helped this wine. A cellar accident that caused a vat to crack and spill (due to a sudden drop in temperature) severely limited the bottle yield, about 1,200 cases less than usual.

So...this is exceptionally delicious and exceptionally rare too! Grab a couple for the cellar – pedigree, history, and a certain humble-brag capability are all to be found in this one spectacular bottling – all at over $25 below retail!

PAIRING IDEAS: When the time comes, treat this as you would a fine Bordeaux – with a meal that is robust, yet not overly complex...we want the wine to shine here! My vote is a simply seasoned, perfectly cooked, New York strip – with some wilted spinach and some sauteed and glazed chanterelle mushrooms.

About the Producer

Tenuta San Leonardo, nestled in Trentino, Italy, holds a storied history dating back to the 18th century. Originally a monastery estate, it was transformed into a winery under the guidance of Marquis Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga. Over generations, the estate has seen dedication to preserving the winemaking heritage, producing exceptional wines rooted in tradition. San Leonardo is renowned for its Bordeaux-style blends, combining native and international grape varieties. Today, the estate remains a testament to the Gonzaga family's commitment to excellence, with meticulous attention to every aspect of the winemaking process. Their emphasis on sustainability and respect for the land ensures that the wines continue to embody the terroir and captivate connoisseurs worldwide. Tenuta San Leonardo stands as a revered name in Italian winemaking, a blend of historical legacy and contemporary passion for crafting extraordinary wines.