Leonetti Merlot 2012
Merlot from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
The wine is dark and saturated. In the glass, the wine explodes with an ethereal, complex nose of cinnamon, plum, pomegranate, clove, and a hint of spring pine forest. On the palate, the wine has delicious fresh ripe fruit, reminiscent of berry pie filling. Incredible richness but with a stunning levity that lifts.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2012 Merlot, which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting, offers an elegant, yet sexy style, with gorgeous black raspberry and creme de cassis fruit, toast, dried spices and licorice, with hints of background tobacco and green herbs, all emerging from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, plump, pure and layered, with a fabulous texture and a big finish, it’s a beautiful wine to drink over the coming decade or more"
Wine Enthusiast - "Leonetti’s Merlot is the only wine among their four annual releases to debut a year early. It’s a good thing with this wine, which is smooth and packed with rich black-cherry and cassis fruit flavors. Also in the blend are small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The tannins are slightly granular, and soaked with cocoa flavor, giving it a pleasingly dark, toasty edge. "
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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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.