Leonetti Cellar Single Vineyard CabAs I sat down with Chris Figgins at a posh Seattle hotel, it is very hard not to have your ears perk up as he speaks. “This is the first time we have made a decision like this, so that makes it really special” Chris remarked. It is quite a move for a winery so steeped in tradition to move towards a very different program in their lineup. I very fondly recall some of the first Leonetti bottlings that I tried more than fifteen years ago. What did that wine taste like? How was it different to the new wines? How was it similar? As I approached my glass for the first time, I took in the heady aromas of their 2016 ‘Holy Roller’ Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced from the Walla Walla Rocks AVA, the bouquet was not like many other Rocks wines but still carried the stony character.
The idea behind the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon project was the wines were always blends of vineyards while the Leonetti ‘Reserve’ was what Chris considered to be the top barrels but he realized that he wanted the opportunity to show off the individual vineyards. Chris explained “In the long term I could see this program growing over time. And this is what we have done with including our single vineyard wines.”
The vineyards on the label pay homage to the terroir in each vineyard. I was absolutely blown away with the overall quality of each wine. A wine that is truly unique from any other Cabernet Sauvignon made in Washington, the 2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Holy Roller Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon is soft and round, absolutely ready to drink in its youth. The light stony character really adds to the enjoyment of the red and dark fruits. Even better was the 2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Mill Creek Upland’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 96) which is at the completely other end of the spectrum, showing brooding dark fruit aromatics and flavors with sterling acidity and tension that runs through the core of the wine. These are simply marvelous bottlings across the board that are not to be missed. Learn more about these stunning new wines at http://leonetticellar.com/ Here are my reviews of the beautiful new Leonetti Cellar Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Holy Roller Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 ‘Holy Roller Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon has a smaller portion of Sangiovese blended in from this Walla Walla Rocks AVA vineyard which was first planted in 2010. There are three acres of Cabernet, two acres of Sangiovese and two acres of Syrah in this vineyard. The wine was aged in 100% French oak prior to bottling. The vineyard is higher elevation in the AVA. There is a light stony character to the wine that mingles with bright red fruits and baking spice elements. The wine has a wonderful elegance and soft texture that really entices. The palate is exceedingly plush, as the wine shows really good freshness and a wonderful salinity. Once on the mouth this shows intense red cherry cordial, black tea, exotic spices and shades of roasted date flavors that all marvelously come together. Exceedingly good right now, this beautiful wine will evolve well for decades. Drink 2019-2038- 95
2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Loess Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The ‘Loess Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon is located directly east of the winery at 1050-1150 feet which was first planted in 2002. This wine shows incredible richness on the nose with blackberry compote and mocha tones that mingle with anise and creme de cassis. The palate is plush, showing a marvelously silky texture. Decadent and intense, this yields ripe black fruits that collide with chocolate, roasted figs and minerals with shades of blueberry compote on the palate. Soft and round, with bright acidity in its youth, this will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. Drink 2020-2040- 95
2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Serra Pedace Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The ‘Serra Pedace Vineyard’ was first planted 2010. This beautiful new release Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning bottling by superstar winemaker Chris Figgins. Mocha, tar and shades of green bell pepper aromas with shades of white pepper all come together marvelously in the glass. Showing off its dense core, the gorgeous aromatics bring you back to the glass for more. The palate is exceedingly plush, showing off an exotic edge. Blackberry cobbler, mocha, anise and shades of creme de cassis all mingle nicely in the glass. Soft and showing good depth, this beautiful wine will have two decades in the cellar. Try to resist this for at least another. year. Drink 2020-2040- 95
2016 Leonetti Cellar ‘Mill Creek Upland Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The ‘Mill Creek Upland Vineyard’ has a small portion of Petit Verdot blended in. The vineyard is set at 1500-1600 feet and was planted in 1997. The nose shows off amazing green bell pepper aromas that mingle with sagebrush, mocha, tar and shades of blackberry cordial that all come together marvelously in the glass. The palate is plush and ultra-dense, giving off a luxurious mouthfeel. The minerality is lovely with black tea, exotic spices, mocha, tar and shades of leather that all march in line together on the palate. This is simply exquisite stuff. Drink 2020-2040- 96