Sunday, January 16, 2011

An unexpected update: Tenute Dettori, Tenores

Back in September of 2010, my post, “The Wild Wines of Sardinia.” spotlighted a number of the top producers from the region. However, there was one winery that was given its own introduction without any tasting notes, because I had yet to be able to experience the wines myself… until today.

The following is an excerpt from that post:

"...Alessandro Dettori, on the north west of the island. Dettori can easily be compared to Frank Cornelissen of Sicily in his approach to natural winemaking. Refusing to use chemical fertilizers in the field and only a trace of sulfur in the bottles, Dettori believes that wine itself can be made without human intervention and that it is the “winemaking” that should be removed from the process. Dettori uses a number of indigenous grapes, such as Pascale and Monica, to create truly unique Sardinian wines and suggests that bottles should be opened and left to air for hours or even days before enjoying. These are truly wild wines, and although they may not be for everyone, they are worth trying to expand your palate.”

Below is my first, but certainly not my last, experience with the wines of Dettori.

2005 Tenute Dettori Tenores – For three weeks this bottle sat up in my cellar, waiting for the day that I had the time to open it and let it breath for hours before tasting. The day had finally come. At 10am, the cork was popped and the bottle was left until 6pm before the first glass was poured. The color was red in the center, fading to amber and then orange at the rim. The aromas of this wine drew me in with ripe figs, confectioners sugar, leather, potpourri, rock dust and…green olive. I found myself returning to the glass repeatedly for nothing more than another smell. The first sip took me aback, as an intense wave of rich, almost sweet fruit that was suddenly balanced by griping acidity, flowed across my palate. Flavors of blackberry jam, cinnamon stick, red apples and tobacco followed, complementing this wine’s full body and near invisible 16% alcohol. The finish showed mulling spices, which lasted well over a minute. There were times that the Tenores could have been mistaken for an aged Barolo or Burgundy; it’s an absolutely compelling wine. (96 Points)


  1. This exact bottle was given to me as a gift because the giver was afraid of the alcohol level. I, in turn, was/am unfamiliar with the wine and expected to let it collect dust for awhile. I am truly excited about your review as it now gives me some motivation to open the bottle.

  2. That's great Dan. When I looked at the back of the bottle and saw 16%, I couldn't believe it. The wine is just so balanced.

    Two things to keep in mind, let it breath, (I let it sit in open bottle for eight hours) and there's a lot of sediment so a decant may be necessary before you start pouring.

    I have about two glasses left from this bottle that I plan to enjoy tonight. I can't wait. I'll post an update if there's anything worth noting.

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