Leonetti Cellar Merlot Columbia Valley 2009
Pure Merlot from Walla Walla can be so stunning, and I feel this wine shows off all the varietal's strengths. The nose leads with complex spice, ripe fruits including strawberries, raspberries, and other bramble fruits, and has background aromas of mint, pine, white pepper, and juniper berries. Searching harder, there's just a hint of earthy mushroom or forest floor that I really love. It is deeply lush, soft, and packed with caramel, vanilla, fruit, and chocolate on the palate. Its tannin and acid are in perfect balance and will help this wine age for at least ?5 years, though it is already drinking wonderfully.
Each of our vineyard solis shape the wine that comes from it. This is the essence of terroir. The soil of Seven Hills at the south end of the Valley is Ellisford Silt Loam.
External Reviews for Leonetti Cellar Merlot Columbia Valley
Though I was not a fan of the 2002, I was enraptured by the 2003 Merlot. Chocolate, cassis liqueur, cherries jubilee, spices, and violets are found in its magnificent aromatics. Aged in 80% new oak (of which 80% is French and the balance Pennsylvania), this concentrated gem slathers the palate with black raspberries, copious quantities of cherries, and blackberries that envelope its significant tannin. Projected maturity: now-2016.
Deep ruby-red. Knockout nose combines dark cherry, black plum, licorice, graphite, chocolate and mint, all lifted by a floral topnote. Sweet on entry, then spicy and firm in the middle, with flavors of black fruits, mint and licorice. Dense without being weighty; not a fat or thick wine but offers lovely lift. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins.
Intense and concentrated, this puts to rest any ideas that Merlot is incapable of making "real" wine. The flavors are smooth and chocolaty, the mouthfeel liquorous, ripe and lush. High-tones fruits and flowers slide into the mellow tannins, all resolving in a superripe, decadently rich finish.
Bright and generous. A lively mouthful of blackberry, currant and floral aromas and flavors, picking up a fresh-earth quality as the finish lingers. Shows less oak than earlier vintages and gorgeous fruit. Drink now through 2006.
Round and open-textured, an elegant, harmonious red with black currant, wild berry and plum flavors at the center, shaded with cedary, spicy notes as the flavors linger against polished tannins. Drink now through 2008.
Leonetti Cellar produces some of the most sought after American wines in the world. Founded in 1977 by Gary Figgins, son Chris now runs the show and makes the miniscule quantities of extraordinary collectible juice that is Leonetti. Robert Parker said of Leonetti “As usual, their wines are benchmarks against which others must be measured.” This 2009 Merlot just received 92 points from the Wine Spectator who said “A Merlot with admirable restraint, this shows a lively balance of raspberry and roasted meat flavors, finishing against fine tannins. Has freshness and immediate appeal, but there’s more underneath that cellaring could bring out. Drink now through 2019.” Extremely Limited!
Complex spice, and ripe fruits on the nose, including background aromas of mint, pine, and white pepper. It is deeply lush, soft, and packed with caramel, vanilla, fruit, and chocolate on the palate. Its tannin and acid are in perfect balance and will help this wine age.