As part of our exciting Washington Wine Month spotlight on Washington wineries, we bring you the tantalizing new wines by Leonetti Cellar. As many of you may know, Leonetti Cellar is one of the state’s historic wineries, first founded in 1977. Leonetti is Walla Walla’s first winery. Leonetti’s legacy traces back to the Leonetti Farm, first established in 1906 – which became the site where owner Gary Figgins would come to plant his first commercial vineyard in 1974. Since that time the wines from Leonetti have received international recognition for rich and dense new world wines. Superstar winemaker, Chris Figgins, son of Gary Figgins, has served as winemaker since 2001. The wines cellar marvelously, as I have recently consumed a 2007 Leonetti Merlot which showed tremendous tension and dark fruit flavors.
A few weeks back I was able to visit the gorgeous Leonetti estate in Walla Walla. The wines were simply stunning, none more so than the intoxicating 2014 Leonetti ‘Reserve’ Red Wine (WWB, 98) which is one of the best wines from Washington that I have had the pleasure of reviewing in the past year. The ’14 ‘Reserve’ is a monster of a wine that will cellar beautifully for two decades or more. I highly recommend that you can get your hands on the 2014 Leonetti Sangiovese (WWB, 94) which is one of the best Sangiovese bottling in North America that I have ever sampled, as the wine shows incredible density and poise. Learn more about this historic Washington winery at http://leonetticellar.com/Here are the gorgeous new release wines by Leonetti Cellar.
2015 Leonetti Cellar Merlot- The 2015 Leonetti Cellar Merlot was sourced from the old block at the Leonetti Estate and the Loess Vineyard. The wine was aged for 15 months in new and once used French oak prior to bottling. Exceedingly dark and brooding aromatics show black cherry, black olive and sage accents with creme de cassis. There are dense flavors of mocha, black cherry compote, Kalmata olive, mint, white pepper and milk chocolate. This has tremendous weight and poise considering the heat of the vintage. The mouthfeel is just gorgeous as this Merlot shows an exotic edge. This decadent heavhitter will cellar marvelously for a decade or more but I think the wine could benefit from one more year in the bottle, as it is somewhat tightly wound right now even with a three plus hour decant. Drink 2018-2030- 95
2014 Leonetti Sangiovese- Sourced from the Seven Hills, Loess, Mill Creek Upland and Serra Pedace vineyards, this Sangiovese wine has 5% Aglianico blended in. This absolutely awesome Sangiovese wine opens with intense aromatics of cigar box, red cherry, rose petals, and red raspberry. The palate has a wonderful minerality and shows great mid-palate weight. Dark cherry, pipe tobacco, milk chocolate, mint, red raspberry, and pencil shavings flavors linger. The astringency is absolutely wonderful, as is the long, mineral and dark fruit driven finish. This wine will cellar exceedingly well for a decade or more. This is up there with the best North American Sangio releases that I have sampled in the past ten plus years. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2014 Leonetti 'Reserve' Red Wine- The 2014 Leonetti ‘Reserve’ Red Wine is an absolute beast at this juncture. This ‘Reserve’ has the highest percentage of Malbec (13%) blended into the Cabernet that has ever been used by for this wine. Sourced from the Seven Hills, Loess, Mill Creek Upland and Serra Pedace vineyards this wine begins with a bouquet of black cherry, roasted figs, mocha and creme de cassis. The palate is plush with creme de cassis, smoke, mocha, violets, dark chocolate shavings and cigar box. This monstrosity needs some time to settle in the bottle. With serious aromatic and flavor range, as well as poise, the ’14 Reserve is a highly memorable effort by Leonetti Cellar. Be sure to give this at least one more year of bottle age before enjoying. Drink 2018-2040- 98
2014 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon- Sourced from the Seven Hills, Loess, Mill Creek Upland, Leonetti Old Block and Serra Pedace vineyard, this wine is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. This has hugely dense aromatics of creme de cassis, green bell pepper, black olive tapenade and Turkish coffee. This leads to dense flavors of mocha, creme de cassis, pipe tobacco, smoked brisket and anise. The plush mouthfeel entices the senses as the 2014 Leonetti Cabernet is a complete stunner by superstar winemaker Chris Figgins. There is huge fruit weight here but wonderful poise to connect with the marvelous texture. Try to put away this wine for at least another year, as this wine needed more than a three hour decant to fully express itself. Drink 2018-2035- 96