Leonetti Merlot 1999
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
It is a very dark wine with a brooding nose of dust, mint, bay leaf, and black fruits. The wine has signature Leonetti integrated oak, and harmonious, high toned fruit. This wine is rich, with excellent acid balance typical of the vintage, and ends with a long finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "For more than two decades, Merlot has been the signature wine for Leonetti. This year’s version is dense and tannic. The immediate impression is of charcoal, ash and black cherries. As the wine opens up there are spices (black pepper, anise, bay leaf), roasted nuts, lush tannins and more fruits — berries, cherries and plums. Though young, tight and still tannic, with several hours breathing time this extraordinary Merlot begins to smooth out the rough edges and show its best stuff."
Wine Spectator - "Seductive for its balance, with ripe flavor and gentle texture. Firm tannins support lively berry and currant fruit, which echo beautifully on the finish, along with subtle shadings of black pepper and cedar. The fruit prevails and just sings on."
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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