This bright, aromatic, vivid wine opens with a bowlful of berries and cherries. There is plenty of acid under the ripe fruit, which takes center stage at the moment. The signifcant additon of Carmenere (from the Seven Hills Vineyard) adds black pepper to the engaging mix of flavors. Despite its youth, the flavors persist for a remarkably long finish. *Top 100 Wines of 2008* (PG)
Leonetti is justly praised for its Cabernets, but this 2006 serves to remind that Leonetti's Estate Merlot is one of its most consistently satisfying reds. The bouquet is heady and rich, with a spiced red berry scent. The flavor is pure red currant with a pleasing pipe tobacco accent. There's oak in the finish, but the wine remains lifted and light, with a texture that's as polished as a stone. For skirt steak.
The 2006 Merlot has 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Carmenere, and 4% Petit Verdot in the blend. It was aged in a mix of new and used barrels for 15 months. It is dark ruby/purple-colored with aromas of cedar, earth notes, clove, cinnamon, red currants, and black currants. This leads to an elegant wine with ripe, savory flavors, good depth, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will evolve for 3-4 years and be at its best from 2012 to 2020. Founded in 1978 by Gary Figgins, Leonetti Cellar remains a benchmark Washington winery. Shortly the winery will be in a position to achieve its goal of producing all of its wines from estate-grown Walla Walla vineyards. Gary’s son Chris has taken over much of the day-to-day operation of the winery and in particular the viticultural component. (JM)
Good bright red-ruby. Candied red fruits, pomegranate and spices on the nose. Then sweet, silky and generous, with lovely concentration and sappiness to the dark berry and brown spice flavors. A very smooth, bright fruit bomb of a merlot, finishing with sweet flavors of cassis, black cherry and pomegranate. Aged in 65% new oak, but the American oak component was limited to used barrels. I find this more pliant at the same age than the 2005 release. For his part, Chris Figgins describes the 2005 merlot as big, but noted that he picked cabernet sauvignon a full degree Brix lower than usual in 2005, as the fruit got phenolically ripe early. (ST)
Lean and crisp, almost delicate in its subtle, supple structure, with raspberry, blackberry, coffee and sage aromas and flavors that linger extensively and expressively on the fine-grained finish. (HS)
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