Bottle Notes, Merlot

2010 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. Leonetti is part of Figgins Family Wine Estates. Chris Figgins is now in charge of the winemaking.

100% Merlot from a number of Walla Walla Vineyards including Seven Hills, Mill Creek Upland and Loess. The only other vintages of Leonetti Merlot that have not been blended with other varieties were the ’00 and ’08.

Dark crimson in color. 14.3% ABV. Blockbuster nose of black and blue fruits, coffee, cocoa and licorice. Full bodied, plush and exceptionally concentrated. Dense and chewy. Black cherries, cassis liqueur, currants and spiced plums on the palate. The finish is long and silky with pronounced fine grained tannins. This wine is young and brooding with tremendous structure. Darker in profile than I am accustomed to from Leonetti. Serious Merlot. Best over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 94 points.

Leonetti was one of my very first mailing lists. Twenty five years later I am still a buyer and the wines are better than ever. The winery has done an exceptional job at holding the line on prices. Although the mailing list is full and the waiting list is long the wine is readily available at retail in late March so look for the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Merlot next Spring. You might even be able to find current releases at high end wine stores.

Also consider reading The Wines of Chris Figgins and Barrel Tasting With Chris Figgins.

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