My first post in English. San Leonardo 2001 - Tenuta San Leonardo

Tenuta San Leonardo is an ancient walled settlement in the province of Trento. It extends to almost 300 hectares of what was once a medieval fief. Approximately 20 of these hectares are planted to vine on fairly loose-packed hillside soil. The vines face north-south at between 150 and 200 metres above sea level. Higher up, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown on sandy soil while Merlot has found a welcoming home on the pebbly soil slightly lower down.
The vine training systems vary, some of the vine stock is trained over the traditional "pergola Trentina" trellises and the rest is pruned to the modern, rational Guyot system, which is less productive but more suitable for producing wines with good concentration. Tenuta San Leonardo was the first estate to introduce the Guyot system of cane pruning into the province of Trento. The age of the vines ranges from 10 to 25 years and planting densities vary from 4,000 to 5,500 vines per hectare. Known to the world as San Leonardo, the best quality wine of the estate is a Bordeaux blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot. The three grape varieties are fermented and matured separately. During the early months this takes place in large stainless steel tanks followed by 24 months in new and used French barriques. The proportions of the blend are decided only after rigorous sample tasting, barrique by barrique. The wine needs about one year of bottle ageing before release onto the market.

2001 is my preferred vintage. This wine is pure aristocratic elegance, it is the pure expression of Marchese Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga. San Leonardo shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, with a little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of blackcurrant and black cherry followed by aromas of vanilla, violet, blueberry, licorice, chocolate, sweet pipe tobacco and eucalyptus. With extraordinary purity, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence. This is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. It will be drinkable at a young age, but will evolve over three decades or more.
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