2011 Leonetti Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1158126 95 points Vinous

 Saturated medium ruby. Pristine aromas of cassis, raspberry liqueur, blueberry, licorice and graphite. Outstanding inner-mouth energy gives this extremely dense wine a wonderfully light touch. The sappy, dry flavors of slightly high-toned red and black fruits are complicated by a saline quality. Wonderfully velvety in the middle palate but dry, classic and still a bit youthfully clenched on the chewy, extremely long back end, where the harmonious tannins coat the front teeth. An outstanding Bordeaux-like wine that may well merit an even higher rating eight to ten years from now. 95+? (ST)  (12/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The best of the 2011s, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is Pauillac-like with its gorgeous creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, tobacco leaf and graphite styled aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, pure, silky and layered on the palate, with a broad frame and sweet tannin, it’s already approachable, yet will evolve nicely for 5-7 years and hold for a decade after that. (JD)  (6/2014)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Though labeled Cabernet, it’s a full-on, four-grape Bordeaux-style blend. It sports a classic Cabernet nose, dusty, smoky, with cherry tobacco, forest floor and a whiff of barnyard. The fruit remains tart and showing a fair amount of acidity; the tannins stiff and the mouthfeel tight but sensual. Give this one until 2017 to pull itself together.  (7/2014)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 The aromas in this stately Cabernet draw a nice line between judicious oak and dark red cherry fruit. With air more classic Walla Walla aromatics—cedar, sun-dried tomato, tobacco leaf—emerge. The Cabernet flavors deepen to cassis on the palate, with a force that seems driven and shaped by polished oak. Cellar, then serve with a New York strip.  (10/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson. Very subtle and layered and savoury. Transparent and exciting. A lovely light hand but with great interest and nuance. New style cf Woodward Canyon. (18/20 points)  (10/2014)

K&L Notes

According to Wine Advocate's Jeb Dunnuck: "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. While the 2010s here are some of the greatest wines of the vintage, the 2011s are more fresh, up-front, and will be approachable at an earlier stage." (06/2013)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2