2011 Leonetti Walla Walla Valley Sangiovese

SKU #1273276 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This Sangiovese was as usual co-fermented with Syrah (13%), and sourced from a mix of estate vineyards. Smooth and supple, it's a sweetly appealing wine, loaded with strawberry preserves, but also detailed with impressive notes of Italian herbs and a whiff of tomato paste. As befits the variety, the underpinning of natural acidity lifts the finish beautifully, and suggests aging it through 2020. (PG)  (7/2014)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Velvety, complex and distinctive, with violet and white pepper accents around a focused core of blackberry and coffee, lingering effectively. This has depth and presence. (HS)  (10/2014)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (aged mostly in used 30-hectoliter botti, plus some smaller new puncheons; includes a bit of Syrah): Bright deep red. Lovely rose petal perfume to the aromas of raspberry, licorice and menthol. Sappy and savory on the palate, with an impression of gripping acidity enlivening the flavors of crystallized raspberry and cocoa powder. Superb energy and lift here but still quite dry, even youthfully clenched. A classic 2011 for the cellar. There’s not much Sangiovese left in Washington these days. 91+? (ST)  (12/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Starting out the 2011s and a pretty effort, the 2011 Sangiovese offers bright cherry, underbrush, hints of pepper and plenty of cedar to go with a medium to full-bodied, juicy and lightly textured profile on the palate. It has real Sangiovese character, beautiful purity and at least a decade of longevity. (JD)  (6/2014)

Wine & Spirits

 Scents of dark cherry and oak lead in Leonetti’s classic bottling. It’s driven largely by oak at the moment, which is crowding out the delicate wild strawberry flavors. Give it time, then serve with veal lasagna.  (10/2014)

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Price: $69.99

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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.