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Leonetti Reserve 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS94
  • RP93
14.1% ABV
  • JD98
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WS94
  • WE93
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • RP96
  • V94
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • RP100
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • W&S93
  • WS92
  • RP97
  • WE96
  • WS93
  • W&S93
  • RP96
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • RP97
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • RP91
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • RP92
  • RP96
  • WS92
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark, saturated and gorgeous. Intoxicating nose of fresh flowers, dark red fruit and a glorious citrus note - which Leonetti are rarely able to capture in their wines. There is also a tiny sprinkling of cedar shavings, Creme de cassis, and crushed blackcurrant. Unbelievably vibrant and focused. The palate is plush and long with a core of sweetness. Respecting the coolness of the vintage, the acidity is deliciously bright and the tannin low.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Refined and elegant, showing juicy currant and blackberry fruit shaded with allspice, black pepper and bay leaf. Cabernet blend.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Reserve is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc that spent 20 months in once-filled French oak barrels. Offering more black cherry, black currant, licorice, tobacco and spring flower-like qualities on the nose, this serious 2011 has fantastic mid-palate depth, integrated acidity and a medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant personality that’s hard to resist. It too will drink beautifully through 2031.

While Chris’s 2011s are a fair step back from his smoking good 2010s, they nevertheless possess lively, fresh and elegant characters as well as solid richness. They’re certainly of high quality and worth checking out. His 2012s will be even better, and they have deeper, richer mid-palates and additional structure.

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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.

RPT08472403_2011 Item# 130339