2004 Leonetti "Reserve" Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux Blend
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are only 670 cases of the 2004 Reserve, a wine composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 11% Petit Verdot (a grape which does amazingly well in the Walla Walla and Columbia Valley AVAs). It spent 22 months in a combination of new French barriques and larger French oak. The aromatics feature pain grille, floral elements (especially violets), truffle, spice box, cassis, and black currants. Supple-textured, dense, and full-flavored, the wine has enough structure for up to a decade of cellaring and should drink well through 2040. (JM)
100% estate grown, this truly exceptional Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot blend opens with angular, vertical fruit flavors, stacked tightly and detailed with citrus, graphite and chalk. The layered mid-palate mixes grape, berry, cherry and plum, sweet and dense. The oak is applied moderately, not dominating as in past Leonetti reserves. It’s a profound wine with a gorgeous, entrancing structure that is barely beginning its evolution. Flavors emerge in surprising succession, like spring wildflowers that pop up overnight. A remarkable achievement, and quite possibly the best wine ever made by Leonetti.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated, bright ruby. Knockout nose exudes boysenberry, blackberry, espresso bean and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully silky and suave on entry, then lush and full in the middle, with nervy acidity leavening the wine's almost confectionery sweetness. Finishes with huge, broad, building tannins that are outlasted by flavors of dark berries and Belgian chocolate. Figgins told me he marginally prefers the 2003 bottling for its density and intensity, but I wouldn't kick either one out of bed.
Wine & Spirits
This is the first Leonetti Reserve to come from a single vineyard: It's 80 percent Cabernet with equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot from Mill Creek Upland. Chris Figgins says this estate vineyard is one of the coolest sites in Walla Walla, and that may account for the remarkably fresh aromas of cherry and red plum. There's also a foreshadowing of the oak that supports the wine. Its flavors are sleek and precise; the fruit is accented by an herbal note-like tobacco leaves in a cedar chest-and a mouthwatering acidity. Still very young, it should age beautifully, and sing with steak.
Dark, rich and generous, offering mouthfilling cherry, currant and savory roasted meat flavors. Hints at smoke and spice as the finish persists. A bit tight now, this needs cellaring to polish the hard edges. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best after 2008. 670 cases made.