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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Leonetti Reserve 2002

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • RP91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This wine may be remembered as one of the finest Leonetti has produced. The wine's aroma itself can hold one captive without ever taking a sip. The nose boasts incredible sweet fruit, cedar, plums, and cassis. The wine is very dense while being seamless and lasting on the palate long after the wine is swallowed. As always, Leonetti Reserve reflects the winery's efforts to produce a wine amongst the finest in the world. It is entirely estate grown and only produced in exceptional vintages -- blended in varying varietal percentages through diligent selection of individual barrels to produce the greatest wine possible.

Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
If any wine can elevate Leonetti's stunning Cabernet to yet another level, it is this astonishing blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 17% Petit Verdot, all from estate vineyards. Sweet plum, blueberry and blackberry fruits are seamlessly married to layers of different flavored chocolates. Silky and supple, it uses oak as a sensual enhancement, but the wood flavors of mocha, nuts, butter and toast are so beautifully smoothed into the fruit that they are never intrusive.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Ripe, rich, mouthfilling stuff packs in enormous depth of dark plum, black cherry and tarry spice flavors, lingering against a touch of earth on the long, expansive finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The blackberry, spice, and tar aromas of the 2002 Reserve lead to a medium to full-bodied character. This 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and 17% Petit Verdot assemblage regales the palate with cassis, black raspberry, and dark cherry flavors in a sweet, pure format before revealing a plethora of firm tannin in the finish.
Rating: 91+
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Leonetti

Leonetti Cellar

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Leonetti Cellar, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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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.

Walla Walla Valley

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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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

LSB86178_2002 Item# 86178