Leonetti Merlot 2010
Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Dense, dark, and lush but with amazing focus and levity. Loaded with dark blue and black fruits. Gorgeous high tone aromatics are reminiscent of brambleberry reduction compote. Long and plush on the palate, but with a fine grained tannin structure and brilliant acidity from the epic 2010 vintage. This may be the finest Merlot in Leonetti's history. I am completely enamored by the complexity of this wine. The cool vintage gives such restraint to the opulence of the fruit. This wine will drink well upon release but age for many years to come. Made with 100% Merlot.
Wine Enthusiast - "A classic take on Merlot - this is 100% varietal, and was aged for 15 months in new and neutral French oak barrels and botti. The flavors more through strawberry, raspberry and Bing cherry, with great breadth of flavor and texture throughout. The midpalate is concentrated and fulll, with a fine, lingering, superclean finish. Cellar Selection."
Wine Spectator - "Shows real presence and depth, offering a vibrant package of red berry, cherry and black currant, with hints of licorice and herbs as the finish lingers impressively. Cellaring should soften the raw feel and make this something special."
The Wine Advocate - "The Leonetti 2010 Merlot - which, unlike any preceding vintage save for 2000 and 2008, was blended with no other variety - offers a perfect validation of Chris Figgins's intention to render a serious, self-standing wine from this grape capable of starring in Washington if given the right, sufficiently clay-rich and thermally temperate sort of site. Fresh dark cherry and purple plum already announced in the nose take on a delightful primary juiciness and invigoratingly tart fruit skin edge on a fine-grained palate. This is so exuberantly juicy and saliva-stimulating in its long, lip-smacking finish - a feature no doubt enhanced by bottling after only 14 months in barrique, and justifying the release of Leonetti Merlots a year ahead of their other wines - that you can't possibly take just one sip. Piquant fruit pit, crushed stone, and peat add interest and stimulation to an energetic yet lusciously ripe and richly-textured effort whose longevity will, I predict, surprise most wine lovers (perhaps even its authors?) and extend for more than a dozen years. The intended Merlot self-sufficiency on exhibit here is furthered by Figgins' increasing reliance on grapes from their relatively cool, long-ripening Mill Creek Upland Vineyard, with fruit from Seven Hills or Loess more apt to end up being selectively blended into their other reds or sold off."
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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:
Washington State is exploding onto the world’s wine scene. The second largest wine-producing region in the United States, the number of wineries has more than doubled in the past decade to more than 900 today. The great majority of the state’s 50,000+ acres of vineyards are grown on the east side of the Cascade mountains, where they enjoy 300+ days of sunshine a year, well-draining soils and a diurnal shift ideal for wine grapes.
Washington is not defined by a single grape variety, with nearly 70 varieties to explore. Out of these, the top five are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Syrah. Winemakers and grape growers are driven by a pioneering spirit, and aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques in an ever-growing quest to make world-class wine. With a state-of-the-art research program, near-perfect growing conditions and the possibility for exponential growth – Washington State is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with.
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