Leonetti Merlot 2016 Front Label
Leonetti Merlot 2016 Front LabelLeonetti Merlot 2016 Front Bottle Shot

Leonetti Merlot 2016

  • JS95
  • JD93
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE92
750ML / 14.3% ABV
Other Vintages
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750ML / 14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2016 will be remembered as a classic vintage for Merlot. Thiswine has a delicious, creamy nose with jammy black fruits andmixed florals. It is incredibly broad on the palate–a distinctivecharacteristic of Washington Merlot. The finish is spicy, sweet,lively, and lengthy.

Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 95
James Suckling
Intense aromas of blueberries, blackberries and black olives with some graphite follow through to a full body. Ultra-fine tannins and a savory finish. Needs time to soften but already shows class and finesse. Drink in 2020 and onwards.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
I always love the Merlot from Chris and the 2016 Merlot (there’s 5% Cabernet Franc) is no exception. Deep purple-colored and loaded with notions of black cherries, plums, leafy herbs, and graphite, it offers medium to full-bodied richness, bright yet integrated acidity and a great finish. It's a fresh and lively Merlot that I suspect will keep for 10-15 years.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Walla Walla Merlot (which contains 5% Cabernet Franc) is showing very well already, offering up a lavish bouquet of juicy cherries, crème de cassis, pencil lead and subtle spice. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, supple and open-knit, with a generous core of succulent primary fruit and a youthfully chewy finish. It should drink well for a decade.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Combines a sense of sleek elegance with a refined structure, featuring expressive black cherry and smoky spice overtones that take on richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2024.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Hailing from Seven Hills, Loess, Leonetti Old Block and Mill Creek Upland vineyards, this is a standout offering of this variety. Its anise, dark fruit, mocha, spice, flower, earth and green pepper aromas lead to focused fruit flavors, with a firm spine of tannin, bright acidity and finish that carries. The structure augurs well for its longevity. Best 2021–2026.
Cellar Selection
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Leonetti

Leonetti Cellar

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Leonetti Cellar, Washington
Leonetti Cellar Winery Image
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.
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Walla Walla Valley Wine

Columbia Valley, Washington

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

STC738490_2016 Item# 431163

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