2010 Leonetti Walla Walla Valley Sangiovese

SKU #1223404 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (13.7% alcohol; includes 11% Syrah): Good bright, full, deep red to the rim. Cherry, bitter chocolate and sexy oak tones on the inviting nose. Sweet, fat and densely packed, with terrific purity to the dark fruit, mineral and chocolate flavors. At once large-scaled and penetrating, this seriously tannic, very chewy Sangiovese has the flavor intensity and supporting acidity for a graceful evolution in bottle. In fact, I'd forget about this beauty for seven or eight years. 93+ (ST)  (11/2013)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* As in the past, Leonetti's 2010 Sangiovese was co-fermented with Syrah (11%), and sourced from Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge and Mill Creek Upland vineyards. It's flat-out delicious from the first scents of barrels and fruits, right on through a lush palate rich in flavors of berries, rum-soaked cherries and exotic spices. A long finish, with a smoky/earthy cast, is supported with tart acids. (PG)  (7/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the top renditions of the variety outside of Italy, Chris’s 2010 Sangiovese (89% Sangiovese and 11% Syrah) spent 22 months in a combination of new French oak Puncheons and neutral French oak Botti, which are the equivalent of foudre in French and are very large oak casks. Showing a deep black cherry driven core of fruit that’s intermixed with notions of spice box, aged beef, leaf tobacco and dusty minerality, it flows onto the palate with the expected Sangiovese edge and dusty tannin, yet also possesses fantastic fruit and a seamless, elegant profile. Already reasonably approachable, it should have 10-15 years of prime drinking. Drink now-2025. Located in Walla Walla, made by Chris Figgins and a benchmark estate, Leonetti Cellars produces seriously rich efforts that have a perfect blend of power and finesse, with gorgeously managed tannin, seamless textures and awesome purity. (JD)  (6/2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 The firm tannins surround a pulsing core of black cherry, raspberry, floral and spice flavors, pushing through into a long and expressive finish, lingering with a hint of espresso. (HS, Web-2013)

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- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.

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.