Leonetti Sangiovese 2018
Dark ruby color. Classic Sangiovese nose of dark Bing cherries, strawberries, dried rose petals, fresh cream, and a hint of asphalt. Incredibly polished tannins on top of a core of silky fruit and earth notes. A lengthy finish with a lovely, refreshing string of acidity.
Blend: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Aglianico
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Sour cherry, currant, plum leaf, oregano, orange zest and cedar on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, tight-grained tannins. Vivid and structured with bright acidity and tight, savory character. Better from 2023.
The 2018 Sangiovese showed beautifully. (This longer, even growing season seems to have worked nicely for Sangiovese.) Lots of pure black cherry fruits as well as notes of leafy herbs, spice, and a kiss of graphite emerge from the glass, and it’s medium-bodied, with nicely integrated acidity and a great, balanced mouthfeel. Coming from the Holy Roller, Seven Hills, and Loess vineyards (all in Walla Walla), it’s a terrific example of this variety to enjoy over the coming decade.
Possessing a deep, dark expression, the 2018 Walla Walla Sangiovese opens to generous notes of black cherry, dark, dusty plum and nuances of dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, it displays an undercurrent of bright acidity before the densely weighted wine sits on the mid-palate, showing some oak essence and dusty red flower tones. The wine concludes with a long, chewy finish that will remain food-friendly for years to come.
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.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.