Bottle Notes, Merlot

2005 Leonetti Merlot – Bottle Notes

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. Chris Figgins is now in charge of the winemaking.

Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer, and I’ve been on their mailing list for 20 years. Vintages like the ’92 Merlot and ’98 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are included among my most memorable wines.

The ’05 Merlot is sourced from Mill Creek Upland, Loess, Pepper Bridge, Bacchus-Dioysus, Wallula and Leonetti Estate Vineyards. 85% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot.

Purple in color. 14.3% ABV. Great aromatics of black fruits, anise and baking spices. Medium body with good acidity. The hallmark silky texture of all the Leonetti wines is ever present. Black cherry, currants, cassis and cocoa powder on the palate. The finish is tremendous. I’m inclined to drink my last few bottles over the next several 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 $85.

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