2013 Leonetti Walla Walla Valley Merlot

SKU #1199214 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The only 2013 I was able to taste from Leonetti, the 2013 Merlot (includes 8% Cabernet Franc) is a blockbuster from this team that’s certainly one of the best examples of this variety in the state. Giving up gorgeously pure notes of blackcurrants, licorice, charcoal and Asian spice, this medium to full-bodied beauty has a voluptuous, layered and seamless texture, building, fine tannin and a terrific finish. Seeing 15 months in new and once-used French oak (small barrels, puncheons and oval botti), it will have 20 years of longevity. (JD)  (6/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe and generous, though polished in texture, with cherry, apricot, floral and orange peel flavors, tinged by a smoky overtone as the finish extends. Drink now through 2019.  (10/2015)

91 points Vinous

 (aged for 15 months in new and once-use French oak; from Loess and Mill Creek Upland plus Leonetti Old Block): Healthy dark red with ruby highlights. Aromas of black and blue fruits are lifted by a violet scent and an exotic suggestion of white fruits. Silky-sweet and already attractive, but bracing acidity and a savory quality gives this superb Merlot the grip to blossom in bottle. Its dark fruit flavors are complicated by hints of tobacco leaf and game. Structured and firm for Walla Walla Merlot. This wine is normally an early drinker, says ??, but this 2013 has a firm tannic spine and bright acidity and is a bit less creamy in the early going. Interestingly, this wine came across as tight and tannic following the 2012 Sangiovese. (ST)  (11/2015)

K&L Notes

Walla Walla's first commercial winery, founded in 1977 by the Leonetti family. From the winery: "As pure and linear an expression of Walla Walla Merlot that you might imagine. Simply gorgeous red and black fruits, especially blueberries, raspberries, and hints of dried apricot. The mouth feel is so wonderfully plush, delicious, and expansive. This wine just makes me smile with pleasure and is everything I love about Walla Walla Merlot. The addition of 8% Cabernet Franc from old vines at the Leonetti Estate contributes lovely violet aromatics and glycerin..."

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Varietal:

Merlot

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- 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.