Bottle Notes, Merlot

2011 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.

I opened this on my birthday with take out burgers from Jak’s Grill West Seattle during the Corona Virus stay at home mandate. Leonetti has become my go to birthday wine going back many years now. The wine was decanted for one hour.

Dark crimson in color. 14% ABV. Sublime nose of black fruits, anise, scorched earth and Whitman Sampler box. Plush, full bodied and well balanced. Youthful and packed with fruit at nine years of age. Black currants, creme de cassis, spiced plums and cocoa on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Leonetti clearly over delivered in the sub par 2011 vintage. 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. Look for the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Merlot at retail this Spring. In other news Leonetti also recently released their first set of single vineyard wines from the 2016 vintage.

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

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