Mission Codename First growth shmirst growth
“Clearly the Sassicaia of the north.” – Wine Spectator
“One of the great wines of Italy.” – Wine Advocate
“A classic in the making.” – Vinous
Need a sleeper to sneak into a blind Bordeaux tasting with First Growths? Everyone will be debating if it is a Lafite or a Margaux but imagine the look on their faces when you unveil this Italian stallion.
Just don’t tell them what you paid!
Like Khaleesi, this deserves some larger-than-life title - “Breaker of palates, slayer of First Growths, leader of the North, keeper of 97+ points, owner of a Tre Bicchieri.”
After all, no other wine can claim over 20 vintages rewarded the highest honor an Italian wine can achieve, since 1995. The praise goes on, and on, and on for this wine. Almost as long as the nearly 1,000-year history of the location where it’s grown.
So, one of the greatest wines in the world seems like a great value under $100. But what about an eye-popping $59?? Outright lunacy. Yup, you’re getting the LOWEST price in the entire US. For a Sassicaia clone (scroll down to read more on this). Now pick your jaw off the ground, pile all you can in your cart and continue reading.
A shy crimson to garnet turns deeper into a translucent ruby in the core. Cocoa dusted cherries meddle with notions of earth, tobacco leaf, and freshly cracked Tellicherry peppercorns, so much perfume! The fun begins all over again with the first sip as it “evaporates” ethereally, perplexing enough to go back in right away to grasp why, and how. A seamless, silky texture feels like a satin pillow in your mouth while the depths attained by the plush tannins, vibrant acidity, and infinite complexity blow the mind for easily over a minute. Noir enjoyed this over a week, little by little, and it only got better every night.
Jancis Robinson finds it “difficult to think of any wine anywhere that has changed a little over the last 30 years as San Leonardo.” Founded in 1724 - gulp - and still, under the auspices owned by the same noble family, this beacon needs a spot in your stash.
Leaving the last word to Galloni: “If you enjoy classic Bordeaux if you enjoy the energy and verve of Italian wine, and if you crave experiencing history in a bottle, then you should seek out Tenuta San Leonardo.”
This is just a baby, and while it’s enjoyable now you can give it a decade or two - easily.
97+ Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2015 San Leonardo pours forth with a beautiful velvety appearance and sultry dark garnet color. This wine shows a lot of life and dark fruit purity with black plum, blackberry, cassis and tarry prune. There is a delightful note of black pepper that is specific to this warm and sunny vintage. The fruit shows softer and richer concentration compared to past vintages and more pulpy density that gives this edition a bigger profile in terms of mouthfeel. San Leonardo is a wine made for long aging, but the nice thing about this vintage is that the bouquet remains quite accessible at this young age. Nevertheless, I’d still suggest keeping this bottle in your cellar so that it can calmly finish its evolution. Drink 2025-2050.”
95 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2015 San Leonardo is a classic in the making. The bouquet is wonderfully perfumed with peppery florals, mixing tart cherry and blueberry with white smoke, hints of graphite and shaved cedar. Silky textures race across a core of juicy acids and minerals, making for a ripe yet cool-toned and pleasurably tactile expression. Youthful tannins slowly make themselves known toward the close. Long, structured and spicy, the 2015 finishes with a crescendo of tart blue and black fruits, tapering off to notes of subtly sweet spice. As good as this is today, it will only get better over time. That said, it doesn’t appear that this is going to shut down anytime in the immediate future, so it’s certainly worth checking on a bottle or two before forgetting the rest in your cellar. Drink 2022-2042.”
Cocoa dusted cherries, earth, tobacco leaf, peppercorns
A shy crimson to garnet, deepening into a translucent ruby core
Cocoa dusted cherries, earth, tobacco leaf, Tellicherry peppercorns
“Evaporates” ethereally, perplexing enough to go back in right away
A seamless, silky texture feels like a satin pillow in your mouth
Fine cheeses and charcuterie, or ideal when savored on its own
What the Winery Says
2015 'San Leonardo' Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
- Carlo Ferrini
- 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Carmenère, 10% Merlot
- Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Trentino
- San Leonardo Estate
- Gravel, sand, limestone base
- Spontaneous, 15-18 days
- 24 months
- 20% new French oak
- 30+ years