For more than two decades, Merlot has been the signature wine for Leonetti. This year’s version is dense and tannic. The immediate impression is of charcoal, ash and black cherries. As the wine opens up there are spices (black pepper, anise, bay leaf), roasted nuts, lush tannins and more fruits — berries, cherries and plums. Though young, tight and still tannic, with several hours breathing time this extraordinary Merlot begins to smooth out the rough edges and show its best stuff.
Seductive for its balance, with ripe flavor and gentle texture. Firm tannins support lively berry and currant fruit, which echo beautifully on the finish, along with subtle shadings of black pepper and cedar. The fruit prevails and just sings on.
Roses, spices, violets, juniper berries, vanilla, as well as candied raspberries and cherries can be found in the aromatics of the 1999 Merlot. This medium to dark ruby-colored wine has juicy, well-focused layers of spicy cherries, cinnamon, blackberries, and cassis in its well-delineated, concentrated, and long-finishing personality. (PR)
Bright ruby-red. Complex aromas of raspberry, cranberry, coffee, chocolate and pepper. Then lush and pliant in the mouth, but kept firm by edgy, slightly tart acidity. Opens out nicely on the back end without losing its shape. Perhaps a bit disjointed today, but built to age. (ST)
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