Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (February 2021)
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (June 2021)
Eric Guido, vinous.com (June 2020)
About this WINE
Tenuta San Leonardo
Formerly part of Austria and known to the locals as Südtirol,Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy’s most northern province, is perhaps an unsurprising source of the country’s crunchiest white wines; they are made from grapes such as Kerner, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer to suit the thriving tourist market.
The vines cling onto the bare gneiss rocks that line the draughty Brennero pass that links Italy with Austria, and red varieties Schiava and Lagrein are grown on the pockets of porphyry soil found at the heart of the region.
Recommended Producers: Cantina Terlano
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.