Leonetti Merlot 1995
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Beautiful dark red color. A nose of lavender and violet florals gives way to candied bing cherry, subtle toasty oak notes, and a wine just dripping with gobs of ripe fruit. The wine coats the palate with it's glycerin and sweet fruit. This wine has a purity of fruit and length that even the finest estates of Pomerol and St. Emilion would envy.
Blend: 87% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Spectator - "A distinctive beauty, if not the blockbuster of previous vintages. Light in texture but ripe in flavor, with black cherry, spice and vanilla notes ringing on the long finish, which grows richer with each sip. Oak notes add depth."
The Wine Advocate - "The dark ruby/purple-colored 1995 Merlot offers aromas reminiscent of a deep dish cherry pie dusted with Asian spices, grated vanilla bean, and then topped-off with a healthy scoop of coffee ice cream. This thick, silky-textured, and intensely sweet (from glycerin not sugar) wine is lively, tangy, and immensely pleasing. Layers of candied red fruits awash in toasted oak spices bathe the palate. This offering's long and oily finish does not reveal any of the dryness one would expect from oak tannins."
Leonetti Cellar Winery
Exclusive production of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have been the hallmark of Gary Figgins' Leonetti Cellar winery in the suburbs of Walla Walla. Grapes from his own vineyard and from other nearby properties are used to create these rich and robust varietal wines. The attractive new winery building made of native stone houses barrel storage and fermenting tanks. View all Leonetti Cellar Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.