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The Sommelier Journal held a vertical of Super Tuscan Oreno from Tenuta Sette Ponti for their June/July issue.
Elegance in a Bottle
WE TRAVELLED TO TUSCANY for our vertical tasting, or rather Tuscany travelled to us! Dr. Antonio Moretti Cuseri, owner of Tenuta Sette Ponti, flew in to present eight vintages of his Super Tuscan, Oreno, to Anthony Dias Blue, Editor-in-Chief of The Somm Journal; Nathaniel Muñoz, Wine Director at The Rose Café.Venice; Sean Van Straatum, General Manager of Avec Nous; and Taylor Grant, Wine Director of Scopa Italian Roots.
Located between Florence and Arezzo in the Chianti region, Tenuta Sette Ponti—meaning seven bridges in Italian—has 50 hectares (124 acres) of vines planted on its 330-hectare (815-acre) property. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate the plantings, and the vintages of Oreno we tasted split between a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008 wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot in the later 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015 vintages.
Moretti Cuseri fell in love with Sassicaia and knew that Tenuta Sette Ponti could make wines of that caliber too. He took over the winery operations in 1997 with the aim of refining the wines, leading them to a more elegant expression. In 2010, the winery decided to progress its strategy by encouraging more interaction between the winemakers and the vineyard managers and by meeting with individual tonnelleries in order to introduce custom-made barrels for each variety.
“We want to wrap the oak around the wine rather than imposing oak on the wine,” states Moretti Cuseri. “A great winemaker understands the evolution of a wine and does not force it.”
As a whole, the lineup showed impressively, with the group diametrically split on some of them—the beauty of different palates and well-made wine. The overwhelming group favorite was the super-savoury 2007, with the 2014 a close second despite its explicit youth. Moretti Cuseri and I liked the 2008 with Moretti Cuseri commenting on how he enjoyed being able to taste in this format, in an objective way.
In addition to Oreno, Tenuta Sette Ponti produces Vigna dell’Impero, Vigna di Pallino, Vigna di Pallino Riserva, Crognolo and a dessert wine by the name of Grisoglia. The Moretti Cuseri family also owns Orma and Poggio al Lupo in Tuscany and Feudo Maccari and Contrada Santo Spirito di Passopisciaro in Sicily.
The tasting panel gave each vintage a consensus score.
2003 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Dried black cherry, dried herbs, balsamic, tobacco, leather, vanilla, smoke; tannins are starting to tame and integrate; long length and fresh for a 2003! 94 —Taylor Grant, Wine Director, Scopa Italian Roots
2006 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Graphite and unseasoned cedar jump out of the glass being driven by salinity; salami and dried meat presence with a savoury element of black olives and rosemary; structure is well-balanced. 93 —Sean Van Straatum, General Manager, Avec Nous
2007 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Red fruits and lively Sangiovese notes; silky and youthful, snappy and racy with crisp fruit; the wine is fresh and generous, long and supple; well-integrated. 97 —Anthony Dias Blue, Editor-in-Chief, The Somm Journal
2008 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Orchids, blueberries, mocha, olive tapenade; plush on the palate with assertive yet silky tannins and youthful acidity; this is a fully-balanced wine. 94 —Allyson Gorsuch, Deputy Editor, The Somm Journal
2009 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Ripe red and dark berries, sour black plum, mulberry, salinity, espresso and gravel; palate is incredible with lushness and persistent tannin; this wine is a conversation piece. 96 —Nathaniel Muñoz, Wine Director, The Rose Café.Venice
2010 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Dark center of purple; coffee cake, confectionary, strong flavours of cassis with green tobacco notes; alcohol is elevated yet finishes with acidity, making the wine balanced. 94 —Sean Van Straatum, General Manager, Avec Nous
2014 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Blackberry and mulberry, dark plum, purple flowers of lilacs and violets; oak is vanillin and coconut, charred and seasoned; decadent and generous, sweetly fruited with impeccable acid. 97 —Nathaniel Muñoz, Wine Director, The Rose Café.Venice
2015 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Crème de cassis, candied but tart cherry, fresh purple flowers, butter, mocha; aggressive tannins and high acid need time to integrate but lovely, vibrant wine. 95 —Allyson Gorsuch, Deputy Editor, The Somm Journal