Wine of the week: a simply astonishing legendary Italian red

This wine is the epitome of class and restraint – and it is just starting to drink, too.

2016 San Leonardo, Trentino, Italy

£352.20 excluding VAT for six bottles and £776.40 excluding VAT for six magnums, honestgrapes.co.uk

When we were allowed to venture back into restaurants in May, the very first dinner I attended was at steak-haven Hawksmoor Seven Dials, in London, because on Monday nights it is a fiver for corkage. Feel free to check out my Instagram feed and you will see a bottle of 2004 San Leonardo sitting in a line-up of crazy bottles that my pals and I had been itching to share for over a year. I tasted the soon to be released 2016 San Leonardo a couple of weeks ago and, this time, I am itching to share it with you.

Owner Marchese Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga decided that this legendary Italian red, Trentino’s finest, deserved an extended period of ageing prior to release and his decision has paid dividends. Made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon, carménère and merlot in very much a Bordeaux style as opposed to a Super-Tuscan or Napa Valley manner, this wine is the epitome of class and restraint and it is just starting to drink, too. At a mere 13% alcohol, it is impeccably balanced and there is so much freshness and brightness on the nose and palate it is astonishing. Ripe cabernet cassis notes joust with greener tones from the carménère and wild lustiness from the merlot, and these elements combine beautifully on the sleek palate. Hurry to secure your stock now.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com).

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