Though 2009 was a difficult vintage for Washington Merlot, this is a truly luscious wine. It welcomes the taster instantly with massive, generous fruit cloaked in toasty, chewy, mocha and caramel flavors. Tasted over the course of 48 hours, it held up well, developing broad, well-integrated flavors of berries to complement the hedonistic oak. Sure to be a favorite among all the current releases from Leonetti. (PG)
The 2009 Merlot displays inviting aromas of balsam wood, earthy minerals, spice box, black currant and blackberry. This sets the stage for a velvety-textured, layered, succulent wine that has impressive volume and length. It will provide prime drinking from 2013 to 2024. (JM)
A Merlot with admirable restraint, showing a lively balance of raspberry and roasted meat flavors, finishing against fine tannins. Offers freshness and immediate appeal, but there's more underneath that cellaring could bring out. (HS)
Deep red-ruby. Very ripe, slightly medicinal aromas of kirsch, black raspberry and licorice. Dense, powerful and dark in the mouth, with a slightly tough quality to the mulberry and licorice flavors. Finishes with good length, but the wine's serious tannic spine and a late peppery quality leave the finish a bit rigid today. Will this tightly coiled, very primary wine unwind with several years in bottle? Chris Figgins notes that very hot weather from mid-June to July was harder on the merlot in 2009 than it was on the cabernet sauvignon, and that the merlot struggled to achieve physiological ripeness. (ST) 90+?
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