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Flat front label of wine

Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 1999

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS93
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"Fantastic aromas of blackberries, coffee and toasted oak. Full-bodied, with big, silky tannins and a long, long finish. A rich and juicy young red. Needs time to mellow. Best after 2004. 830 cases made."
-Wine Spectator

Tenuta Sette Ponti's second release was the 1999 vintage Oreno, named after a stream which runs through the estate. The blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from vines of an average age of 15 to 20 years results in an internationally-styled, super Tuscan wine. The wine's dense, violet color suggests its Cabernet component which is confirmed in aromas of cassis, black stone fruit and wild cherries offset by notes of herbs, spice and sweet oak. These carry into ripe, densely fruited palate marked by firm yet elegant tannic structure and integrated vanilla oak, ending in a long, refined finish.

50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
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Tenuta Sette Ponti

Tenuta Sette Ponti

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Tenuta Sette Ponti, Tuscany, Italy
Image of winery

The estate of Sette Ponti lies in the heart of the Chianti zone, fifteen miles northwest of the city of Arezzo just past the village of San Giustino Valdarno. The Via del Monte, known locally as the Via dei Sette Ponti, leads into a beautiful hidden valley and to the estate. The name Sette Ponti, or "seven bridges," refers to the seven bridges crossing the Arno River on the road from Arezzo to Florence. Erected in the mid 13th century, it took nearly forty years to build, and is perceptible in the right far background of Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa.

Tenuta Sette Ponti, is, like many Tuscan estates, multi-faceted. The 750-acre property supports livestock and mixed agriculture, and although viticulture is not new to the estate, winemaking is; the yield of the property's vineyards was until 1997 sold to various respected Tuscan wine producers, among them Piero Antinori. Dr. Moretti's enjoyment of wine led him to ask Antinori if the estate vineyards could produce great wines, and Antinori thought they could. The estate has since been transformed through the consultation of respected oenologist Carlo Ferrini and his assistant, Gioia Cresti; Gilbert Bouvet, one of France's most skilled viticulturalists; and agronomist Benedetto d'Anna.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

YNG119029_1999 Item# 75768