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Tenuta San Leonardo 1997

  • WS95
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 1997 vintage, with 1990 and 1995, was the growing yearthat saw least precipitation. Hours of sunshine were within the normand high in the months of September and October. These factors produced a wine of deep aroma and evolved mid-palate.

Critical Acclaim

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Classified 12th in the world's 100 best wines. San Leonardo 1997 was also awarded the Oscar del Vino for the best red wine by the Associazione Italiana Sommelier.
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Tenuta San Leonardo

Tenuta San Leonardo

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Tenuta San Leonardo, Italy
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The history of Tenuta San Leonardo dates back at least fifteen hundred years, to the days when a group of prisoners from Trentino, held by the Lombard duchy, came home after their release at the intercession of Queen Theodolinda and Bishop Agnellus. The men had spent a period of confinement in France after their capture by the Frankish army. On their release, the former captives decided to give thanks to the patron saint of prisoners, Saint Leonard, by erecting a chapel.
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Trentino-Alto Adige

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A mountainous northern Italian region heavily influenced by German culture, Trentino-Alto Adige is actually made up of two separate but similar regions: Alto Adige and Trentino.

Trentino, the southern half, is primarily Italian-speaking and largely responsible for the production of non-native, international grapes. There is a significant quantity of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot produced. But Trentino's native and most unique red variety, Teroldego, while still rare, is gaining popularity. It produces a deeply colored red wine rich in wild blackberry, herb, coffee and cocoa.

The rugged terrain of German-speaking Alto Adige (also referred to as Südtirol) focuses on small-scale viticulture, with great value placed on local varieties—though international varieties have been widely planted since the 1800s. Sheltered by the Alps from harsh northerly winds, many of the best vineyards are at extreme altitude but on steep slopes to increase sunlight exposure.

Dominant red varieties include the bold, herbaceous Lagrein and delicate, strawberry-kissed, Schiava, in addition to some Pinot Nero.

The primary white grapes are Pinot grigio, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, as well as smaller plantings of Sauvignon blanc, Müller Thurgau. These tend to be bright and refreshing with crisp acidity and just the right amount of texture. Some of the highest quality Pinot grigio in Italy is made here.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

DOB134451_1997 Item# 134451