Built to last – 2001 Tenuta Lamborghini Campoleone

I will admit, I really didn’t know much about this particular wine/winery before I opened it; last night’s bottle instigated further inquiry. That said, I decided on the title of this post before I dug a little deeper, i.e. as I was enjoying the bottle.

For whatever reason, I thought this was La Fiorita, and had nothing to do with the famous car maker – fail; my understanding was based on conversations from many years ago, conversations that were more hearsay than fact, obviously. Or maybe it’s just my lousy memory in general. Sigh.

Tenuta Patrizia Lamborghini produces several different wines -red, white, sparkling. But the one I am most familiar with (ok, the only one) is the Campoleone, the winery’s flagship wine, a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. I think my familiarity with this wine goes back to the press and excitement surrounding the release of the 1999, a wine that Parker was smitten with.

I will further admit that my recollection of this wine was merely that it was some type of Umbrian Sangiovese blend, but that was all I knew prior to drinking it last night  — so, Sangiovese and xxxxxxxxx variety(ies) that’s all I knew  — good, I didn’t need any more background than that.


As I’ve said in previous posts, I prefer to know less about a wine before I drink/taste it;  judge it by what’s in the glass, not on the label or critic’s review.

Open>decant>aerate>enjoy with a meal over the following 90 minutes – that’s pretty much most of my wine experiences these days. Well, most of my preferred experiences, anyway — with trade tastings occupying a place very far down the list.

Upon first pour (into decanter, as I knew it would have a fair amount of sediment (it did, with both chunky and fine sediments), I see the wine’s rather dark colored, so I’m thinking it’s not a Sangiovese-dominant blend. I mention this because I tend to (falsely) draw some conclusions based on things like color and smell – only to get schooled once I actually taste the wine. As I poured it, I figured the dark, nearly opaque ruby>purple color would prove less of a food wine than I’d hoped. Wrong, it was a fabulous food wine.

Initial aromas of sous bois, followed just a few moments later with notes of floral perfumes, brown spices and the lightest suggestion of red and black fruits. It wasn’t until this had been in decanter for about 60 minutes that I began to really see the potential here, with the fruits having become much more prominent. That said, it got better every minute after that until it was eventually finished, some two hours later. Had I any left today, I’m pretty sure it would have been even better, more open and integrated – which is saying a lot, this wine is built to last. Yes, it’s enjoyable now, with aeration, but I think the best has yet to come.

The body is full-ish; it’s not weighty or bloated. The tannins are very fine, with a subtle sweetness that rounds the crisp fruits in such a way as to add a subtle polish. I say subtle because I think some can read the term polish and it can be ambiguous – many today are gratuitously polished, glossy to a fault. That’s my  opinion, anyway. There’s nothing gratuitous about this wine, it’s the real deal.

At the 90 minute mark, the nose has really composed itself, and some lovely citrus notes emerge; the perfect foil to the predominant cherry and plum. At this point, I’ve nearly finished my dish of pappardelle with a spicy lamb ragu, and I’ve made up my mind – I’ll be sitting on my next bottle for 10-12 more years, as I think the reward will be tremendous.

Some very fine winegrowing here, and the careful use of oak (this is fermented and then aged in French barrique for another 12 months after the fermentation has finished) is to be applauded. Another reason I (believe) like this so much is the very careful selection – only ~ 1kg per vine makes it into this blend. I think there’s something to be enjoyed here by everyone that’s able to take some time with this and fully understand its present and future rewards. 13,5% abv.   highly recommended


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