Leonetti Merlot 2007
Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
A blend of 93% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot.
One of the most complex aromas I've ever seen on any Merlot. Exploding out of the glass are ripe red fruits, candle wax, violet and other floral aromas, caramel, graham crackers and a puree of bramble fruits. On the second day a beautiful note of chocolate and coffee appear, along with a fantastic note of sweet earth and dust. The acid of the wine is very refreshing and balances the long, lush, soft mouthfeel. The wine has laser precision and is quite structured for Merlot--and while drinking great now, will reward for a few years of aging.
The Wine Advocate - "The purple-colored 2007 Merlot contains 7% Petit Verdot. The nose offers up a whiff of new oak along with scorched earth, mocha, black currant, blackberry, and a hint of chocolate. This leads to a medium to full-bodied, opulent wine with layered, savory fruit, succulent flavors, plenty of fine-grained tannin, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will continue to blossom over the next 5 years and present a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2022."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, full red-ruby. Subdued but pure nose offers cassis, violet, licorice and a whiff of menthol. Juicy, suave and smooth but quite dry; not at all a fleshy style of merlot. In fact, this minerally midweight is made in a distinctly claret-like style. This is blended with 7% petit verdot; past vintages included some cabernet sauvignon and cab franc."
Wine Spectator - "Firm in texture, with a tight grip of tannins on the smoky blackberry and currant flavors, persisting on the finish. Needs time to soften. Best from 2011 through 2017."
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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 Walla Walla ValleyView a map of Walla Walla Valley wineries
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
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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