Bottle Notes, Merlot

2002 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

2002 Leonetti Merlot

Leonetti Cellar was founded in 1977 by Gary and Nancy Figgins. Leonetti, along with Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon put premium Washington Cabernet Sauvignon on the radar of wine consumers across the United States. Leonetti also produces one of the very best domestic Merlots.

Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer as well, and I have been on their mailing list for 15 years. Vintages like the ’92 Merlot and ’98 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are included among my most memorable wines.

80% Merlot, 7% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Carmenere. The fruit in this wine is sourced from Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Mill Creek Upland, Leonetti Estate and Dionysus Vineyards. Aged for thirteen months in a combination of new French, American and Hungarian oak barrels. Light spice notes, cherries and vanilla on the nose. The palate is lush and filled with beautifully pure red fruit flavors and exceptionally fine grained tannins. Graham, cassis, currants and a hint of tobacco. The finish lingers in the best way. This wine is beautiful to drink now and well-cellared bottles will age another 1-2 years.

My rating: 92 points

Leonetti has a full mailing list but the wine is readily available at retail in late-March. The winery has done an exceptional job at holding the line on prices and you should be able to find bottles right around $75.

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2 thoughts on “2002 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

  1. 15 years! Wow! That is some loyalty! I was just accepted to “The List,” so I will now have the pleasure of making the back-to-back WW trips to Cayuse (April) and Leonetti (May) next year!

    1. I couldn’t do both trips this past year and ended up just going to Cayuse. Now if only we could get Chris Figgins and Christophe Baron to agree on the same weekend…

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