The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2011

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Page 102 of 128

Definition Dolomites W from the TENUTA SAN LEONARDO ELEGANTLY INTERPRETS BORDEAUX VARIETALS by Lana Bortolot hile Italian wines conjure up many images and many varieties, Bordeaux blends are usually not among them. After all, Italy's agriculture ministry has identified more than 350 "authorized" grape varieties—why bother borrow- ing from the French? But in the area of northern Italy in Trentino—an ancient cultural crossroads where Tenuta San Leonardo is made—Bordeaux-style wines are not only the order of the day, they're the order on the table: They're that good. With the majestic Dolomites (aka the "southern Alps") as a backdrop, the Vallagrina Valley is home to the Adige River and the 25 hectares of vines of the San Leonardo estate. It boasts historical significance as a place where religious high-dignitaries were received, where Lombard kings married and where peace treaties were signed—all upheld by the aris- tocratic Guerrieri Gonzaga family, which succeeded to the estate in the mid-18th century. And in keeping with that storied past, the wines, produced from low yields, are elegant and nobly concentrated. San Leonardo has earned a place in the cellar of New York City's restaurant royalty, too, at Danny Meyer's Maialino restaurant. Wine director Liz Nicholson, who confesses to a long-time love affair with all things Italian, says the wine enjoyed enormous success in a five-month-long by-the- glass program. And at $14 for a half glass, that's some success. She placed the wine in her Enomatic program because she wanted to present an expres- sion of the northeast, an area where she's traveled and worked harvest. A grilled chicken dish at Antica Posta in Atlanta marries beauti- fully with San Leonardo Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, a Bordeaux blend from Trentino with aristocratic finesse. 102 / the tasting panel / october 201 1 PHOTO: ERIK LESSER

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