2012 Leonetti Walla Walla Valley Merlot

SKU #1158132 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Merlot, which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting, offers an elegant, yet sexy style, with gorgeous black raspberry and creme de cassis fruit, toast, dried spices and licorice, with hints of background tobacco and green herbs, all emerging from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, plump, pure and layered, with a fabulous texture and a big finish, it’s a beautiful wine to drink over the coming decade or more. (JD)  (6/2014)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Leonetti’s Merlot is the only wine among their four annual releases to debut a year early. It’s a good thing with this wine, which is smooth and packed with rich black-cherry and cassis fruit flavors. Also in the blend are small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The tannins are slightly granular, and soaked with cocoa flavor, giving it. *Editors' Choice* (PG)  (7/2014)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This has great presence, offering blueberry, currant and spice notes that arch beautifully on the long finish, wrapped in gentle tannins. Best from 2015 through 2020. (HS)  (10/2014)

91 points Vinous

 Bright, full medium red. Pungent aromas and flavors of redcurrant, huckleberry and spicecake: smells juicy! Sweet, smooth and fairly full in the mouth, with lovely ripe acidity keeping the mid-palate fresh. Not yet particularly complex but that will come with a few years in the cellar. As fresh as this wine is, it will rely more on its tannins than its acids for longevity and future development. 'The 2012s remind me of the 2008s,' offered Chris Figgins. 'We had perfectly average temperatures during the growing season, and it will be a super-solid vintage to drink before the ‘10s and ‘11s. The ‘10s are our biggest lay-down vintage, along with the 2005s.' (ST)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

The 2012 Leonetti Merlot is composed from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Cabernet Franc (5.5%) and Petit Verdot (1.5%) from the Loess, Seven Hills, Mill Creek Upland and Leonetti Old Block vineyards. It is aged for 14 months in neutral French oak puncheons and botti.

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Price: $79.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.