Bottle Notes, Merlot

2003 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

2003 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, and I’ve 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.

82% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Carmenere and 3% Sangiovese. The fruit is sourced from vineyards in both Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. Specifically Mill Creek Upland, Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Leonetti Estate, Dionysus and Connor-Lee vineyards. Ruby red in color. Cherries, smoke and mint on the nose. Pure and rich. Cassis, plums, spice, currants and leather on the palate. Great finish. Drink over the next year or so.

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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