San Leonardo is a skilful blend of wines from different grapes that are fermented and aged separately: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot.
Before bottling, the precise proportions are decided only after rigorous tasting of samples, barrique by barrique.
VINE TRAINING SYSTEMS
Guyot and spurred cordon at a density of 6,600 plants per hectare.
AGE OF VINES
From 20 to 50 years.
YIELD PER HECTARE
50–60 quintals/hectare (2.25-2.67 tons/acre).
The grapes are picked when perfectly ripe during the months of September and October.
The early months of maturation in cement tanks are followed by 18-24 months in new and pre-used barriques.
For at least one year before release onto the market.
Intense ruby red with garnet highlights. The aroma is expressive with balsamic notes, forest fruits, chocolate, tobacco, pepper and elegant nuances of bell pepper. The palate is full, warm and impressively rounded, with intense aromatics that linger on the palate.
Game, roasted duck, lamb, aged cheeses from cow’s milk, cheese/vanilla soufflé, snails, truffles, dark chocolate.
25 years or more.
Half bottle, Bottle, Magnum, Jeroboam, Methuselah, Salmanazar, Balthazar
|VINTAGE||GAMBERO ROSSO||BIBENDA A.I.S.||VERONELLI||ESPRESSO||DOCTOR WINE||JANCIS ROBINSON||WINE ADVOCATE||WINE SPECTATOR||DECANTER||JAMES SUCKLING|
|2013||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||98|
|2011||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||95||100 vini da bere||97||17/20||93|
|2010||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||94||18/20||97||17/20||95||91||93|
|2008||Tre Bicchieri||4 Grappoli||94||18,5/20||94||17/20||92||92||93||95|
|2007||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||94||18,5/20||98||18,5/20||94+||90||92|
|2006||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||94||17,5/20||18/20||95||91||93|
|2005||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||94||18/20||17/20||88||90||93|
|2004||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||94||18/20||19/20||97||93||90|
|2003||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||92||18,5/20||17,5/20||91||91|
|2001||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||92||18/20||17/20||95||90||93||91|
|2000||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||90||16,5/20||17,5/20||92||88||93|
|1999||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||90/Il Sole||19/20||93||90||93|
|1997||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||93||17/20||95+||95|
|1996||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||93/Il Sole||18/20||92||93|
|1995||Tre Bicchieri||5 Grappoli||92/Il Sole||18,5/20||95|
|YEAR||QUALITY||WHEN TO DRINK||OUR ADVICE||DECANTING|
|2008||*****||To keep||Young with an aristocratic DNA, you will not have to wait too long…||30′|
|2007||*****||To keep||One of the greatest vintages, to be discovered slowly in the years…||30’/1h|
|2006||*****||To keep / Drink now||Great vintage, to be forgotten in the cellar.||30’/1h|
|2005||****||To keep||Sophistication and elegance are the gift of this cool vintage||30’/1h|
|2004||*****||To keep / Drink now||To guard jealously in the cellar||1h/90′|
|2003||*****||To keep||In a suprising stage, revealing finesse and freshness despite the hot vintage||30’/1h|
|2001||*****||To keep / Drink now||Superb vintage, try to forget it in the cellar||90’/2h|
|2000||****||Drink now||A classic Bordeaux blend in the San Leonardo style||90’/2h|
|1999||*****||To keep / Drink now||Refined, elegant, and fresh, with the drinkability which distinguishes the best vintages of San Leonardo||90′|
|1997||*****||To keep / Drink now||One of the most important vintages, now starting to reveal itself||90′|
|1996||*****||Drink now||Considered to be amongst the most elegant ever produced||90′|
|1995||*****||To keep / Drink now||Very important vintage in Trentino. Structure and elegance in constant evolution||2h|
|1994||****||Drink now||We are constantly surprised by the finesse of this vintage. A “meditative wine”||90′|
|1993||*****||To keep / Drink now||Great vintage destined for a long life. Slowly slowly it is affirming its importance||90′|
|1991||****||Drink now||From a minor vintage a great surprise… pure elegance||90′|
|1990||*****||To keep / Drink now||Extraordinary vintage! One of the best ever, and still improving…||2h|
|1988||*****||To keep / Drink now||The vintage which made known the greatness of this wine. Better if in magnum||2h|
|1987||***||Drink now||The consistency in the quality of our work in the vineyard is shown in this wine||90′|
|1986||***||Drink now||Drinkability and elegance are the essence of this vintage||90′|
|1985||*****||Drink now||The first great vintage of San Leonardo||90′|
|1983||**||Drink now||Has reached its peak. Drink now||30′|
|1982||****||Drink now||First vintage, not sold. Still capable of surprising.||30′|
Insistent rain in the first and second ten days of June with heavy precipitation during and after flowering. As much as 180 millimetres of rain fell over twenty days while the highest average temperature was 25 °C and the lowest 12.8 °C.
The summer witnessed a dry period, which continued throughout autumn, so that we were able to postpone the harvest until late October. The period leading up to the harvest saw considerable day-night temperature fluctuations with a minimum in October of 7 °C and a maximum of 23 °C.
Another rainy growing year during flowering, with 181 millimetres in May and June, followed by a dry July, particularly in the third week of the month. There was more heavy rain in late August but September was dry, with only 33 millimetres of precipitation. Unfortunately, October was extremely wet with 160 millimetres of rainfall and only 74 hours of sunshine, compared with an average for the previous thirteen years of 145 hours.
San Leonardo’s first great vintage, which witnessed heavy rain in May (118 millimetres) followed by a dry summer when temperatures overall averaged nearly 30 °C. From the third ten days in July until 15 August, the average temperature was 32 °C, which is very high for the area.
Picking began on 6 October for the Merlot, 15 October for the Cabernet Franc and 23 October for the Cabernet Sauvignon. A crucial factor was the high day-night temperature fluctuation during September, with a minimum of 10.5 °C and maximum of about 26 °C.
A very wet year with 756 millimetres of rain from April to October. 1989 and 1992 were the two rainiest growing years of the past decade.
Another outstanding growing year with very little rainfall, totalling only 380 millimetres from April to October in comparison with an average of 570 millimetres.
The year also enjoyed a very high number of hours of sunlight (1,407), making it with 1985 one of the two sunniest vintages of the past twenty years in our area.
During the harvest period, which ended on 18 October, temperature fluctuations were normal.
Unfortunately, the months of June and July were particularly wet with rainfall reaching 307 millimetres. This was followed by a dry August with maximum temperatures in the second ten days spiking at 39 °C with an average of 33 °C. The first half of October, the month of the harvest, witnessed fully 145 millimetres of rain, which partially jeopardised the quality of the fruit.
Another exceptionally wet growing year, especially during the harvest period, when rainfall reached 307 millimetres. It should be added that the same period saw very few hours of sunshine – only 62 – and insufficient temperature fluctuations did not enable the grapes to achieve a high level of quality.
The growing year was within the norm in terms of temperatures, except for the first half of August, when the average was almost 34 °C and there was practically no rain (2.4 millimetres). We should note that precipitation was high and concentrated in a very few days, with 194 millimetres in late September and early October. Picking was carried out during dry intervals on 22 September for Merlot and after 10 October for Cabernet.
The growing year was plagued by rainfall concentrated at the crucial moments of the vine’s vegetative cycle (flowering, veraison, ripening). Of the 686 millimetres of rain that fell from April to October, fully 454 millimetres fell in the months of May, with 100 millimetres, June, with 107 millimetres, and above all September, with 246 millimetres.
Temperatures were close to average, the maximum of 32 °C being recorded in July and August.
Nevertheless, the harvest went ahead with no particular problems, ending on 6 October.
Weather during the 1995 growing year was normal, with very low precipitation totalling only 404 millimetres. The rainiest month was May with as much as 140 millimetres, half of this falling in the second ten days of the month. In contrast, the driest month was October, with only 1.7 millimetres of rain, which fell after harvesting was completed on 18 October. There was another positive note in that October enjoyed fully 150 hours of sunshine, one third more than the average for the previous twenty years.
Flowering was perfect in 1996, with rainfall, hours of sunshine and temperatures all in line with the seasonal average.
The only exception was summer, when rainfall was above average and temperatures were lower than in previous years.
September was perfect with 33 millimetres of rain, only half of the average of 66 millimetres.
The harvest, which ended on 19 October, suffered from higher rain in the second ten days of the month. Day-night temperature fluctuations were average.
The 1997 vintage, with 1990 and 1995, was the growing year that saw least precipitation. There were only 470 millimetres of rain in total, most of it concentrated in the period from mid June to mid July. Hours of sunshine were within the norm and high in the months of September and October. Temperature fluctuations in the same period were considerable, with a difference of 17 °C between day and night temperatures in September, and 13 °C in October.
The Merlot grapes were the first to be harvested, starting on 2 October and continuing until 20 October. There was a total absence of rain in the second ten days of the month and thereafter.
1998 was another year with heavy rain, most of it concentrated in the months of September and October. The first ten days of October witnessed as much as 137 millimetres of rainfall. Weather conditions were comparable to the 1992 vintage, which was also skipped. There were very few hours of sunshine, 83 in September and 25 in October, the lowest figures for the past twenty years.
Another growing year with very little precipitation, totalling 480 millimetres from April to October. Rainfall was concentrated particularly in April and the last ten days of August but the August precipitation did not jeopardise the ripening of the grapes.
The months of July and August saw little rain – only 40 millimetres in August – and very high temperatures with averages of almost 32 °C in July. In September, there were also considerable temperature fluctuations, especially during the first twenty days of the month. For Merlot grapes, the harvest started on 27 September whereas Cabernet continued to be picked until 15 October.
A very dry growing year. Precipitation of only 229 millimetres from April to October made it the least rainy year since 1983. The flowering period was very favourable with only 36 millimetres of rainfall in May and June, followed by normal weather. September was very dry with almost no precipitation and day-night temperature fluctuations of more than 15 °C.
The harvest took place from mid September until early October in ideal conditions.
The growing year went as expected with the exception of a fairly rainy period during the first half of September, which did not, however, jeopardise the ripening of the fruit. The flowering period was excellent. The third ten days of May and the whole of June witnessed little rainfall (only 25 millimetres of rain in June) and an average June temperature of about 20 °C with 46% humidity. The harvest began on 26 September and ended without any unforeseen difficulties on 15 October.
At Tenuta San Leonardo, as in the rest of Italy, the 2003 growing year saw little rain and above all very high temperatures.
We need only mention that the average temperatures in June, July and August remained above 24 °C, which together with the lack of precipitation led to early ripening of the fruit. In consequence, picking began a few days earlier than usual on 21 September and continued smoothly to its conclusion on 12 October.
To say that the 2004 growing year lacked surprises would be an untruth. The season began with two very rainy months in May and June, when temperatures were below the seasonal average, albeit not by very much. But then there was an incredible transformation from mid July on. The weather stabilised and rising temperatures enabled veraison and ripening to proceed in fine style. September and October enjoyed excellent day-night temperature fluctuations and the fruit was able to ripen marvellously well. The harvest began with the Merlot on 5 October and ended on 23 October when the Carmenère was picked.
2005 began with a very wet April, but the rain did not impact negatively on the vegetative phase of the vines. With May and June seeing little rainfall, and average temperatures in the final ten days above 25 degrees, veraison began a few days early (around 15-20 July). A relatively rainy August was followed by a beautiful September, which allowed us to delay the harvest for a few days. The harvest began on 19 September with the Merlot grapes, and lasted until 9 October with the harvesting of the Cabernet.
April, May and up until mid-June had little rainfall, so the 2006 vintage started in the best possible way. Indeed, the flowering began in early June, allowing the fruit setting to be completed during the good weather. The second half of June unfortunately saw heavy rainfall, with in excess of 110 mm falling in just a few days towards the end of the month. July was warm and very dry, so veraison occurred earlier than in other years. The first two weeks of August were very wet, whereas autumn was very dry. September was bright and sunny, and the marked temperature shifts allowed the harvest to be brought forward slightly, beginning on 25 September with the Merlot, followed by the Cabernet in the first ten days of October. The harvesting operations were carried out in good weather, with excellent temperature shifts between day and night.
The 2007 operations began far earlier than usual. April was dry and warm with average temperatures in excess of 17 degrees, causing the vegetation phase to begin very early, with flowering starting as early as mid-May. The months of June and July saw very little rainfall (around 60 mm), allowing veraison to arrive without any notable health problems for the vines. In August, almost 200mm of rainfall was concentrated in just a few days and in two distinct periods – the beginning and the end of the month – which, however, did not impact too heavily on the ripening process. The perfect, healthy grapes enabled us to do something we had not done for a while: the differentiated harvesting of the Merlot and Cabernet. The harvesting lasted more than a month, and came to an end in early October, with no particular problems to report.
2008 was characterized by very little rainfall, with just 409mm falling between April and October, half of which fell in May and in the last ten days of October. As such, it was a very dry year, which began early with the flowering of the Merlot at the end of May. The average temperatures in July, above 26 degrees, made it possible for veraison to get started around 20 July. August and the first ten days of September were very dry, with excellent temperature shifts that allowed for the perfect ripening of the grapes and an optimum ratio of sugar to acidity. The harvest began around 20 September with the picking of the Merlot grapes and lasted for 8 days, and then – after a week’s break – got going again, first with the Carmenère, and then with the Cabernet Franc, before coming to an end on 10 October with the harvesting of the final bunches of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Not always does a growing year with beautiful weather mean a quality harvest and not always does a rainy year result in a poor vintage. 2010 gave us a very wet August and September (334mm) with few hours of sunshine yet this did not undermine the quality of the grapes. The season started slightly late with some delay in the flowering which started around the 10th of June, which then was followed without any particular issues by the veraison of the Merlot around the 20th of July. August and September were particularly rainy and resulted in an early harvest, which started with the Merlot on September the 16th and finished with the Carmenère on the 30th October.
A particularly early start to the season with flowering around the twentieth of May thus avoiding the two main rainfalls in June. In fact, during this period, the most important rainfall of the season (150 mm) were concentrated with an average temperature not exceeding 18 degrees. This rainy season brought the season into line with normal trends with the veraison beginning around July 18.
August and September were dry with a big diurnal range which allowes for a perfect ripening. The harvest started on September 20 with the Merlot and resumed after a short break of a few days to allow the complete ripening of the Cabernets, and ended on 10 October.
2013 can be considered as one of the most regular in recent years. In April and May we had quite abundant precipitation (430 mm of rain in two months) but this did not have a negative effect on the vegetation. From June onwards, summer began with sporadic rains, but these arrived at the most suitable moments and therefore helped the vine to overcome any water stress. Budding started slightly behind the standard with blooming around June 10th and the varaison in early August. September provided a good diurnal range and which favored the aromatic developmet of the grapes. The harvest started on September 25th and ended without any particular issues on October 15th.
[Burton Anderson Best Italian Wines 2000]
[Revue du vin de France, fevrier 2003]
[James Suckling, Wine Spectator, December 2001 ]
[Guida Duemila Vini AIS Italiana 2006]
[Markus del Monego MW Master of Wine & World Champion Sommelier 2007]
[Spirito di Vino, maggio 2008]
[Richard Grosche, Weinwelt 2009]
[Nicolas Belfrage, World of Fine Wines 2009]
[Guida del Gambero Rosso 2012]
[Guida de l’Espresso 2012]
[Monica Larner for the Robert Parker The Wine Advocate December 2014]
[Jancis Robinson August 2012]