1995 Leonetti Columbia Valley Merlot (Previously $109)

SKU #930033 91 points Wine Spectator

 A distinctive beauty, if not the blockbuster of previous vintages. Light in texture but ripe in flavor, with black cherry, spice and vanilla notes ringing on the long finish, which grows richer with each sip. Oak notes add depth. Best after 1999.  (11/1997)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The dark ruby/purple-colored 1995 Merlot offers aromas reminiscent of a deep dish cherry pie dusted with Asian spices, grated vanilla bean, and then topped-off with a healthy scoop of coffee ice cream. This thick, silky-textured, and intensely sweet (from glycerin not sugar) wine is lively, tangy, and immensely pleasing. Layers of candied red fruits awash in toasted oak spices bathe the palate. This offering's long and oily finish does not reveal any of the dryness one would expect from oak tannins.  (10/1998)

K&L Notes

Aged for fifteen months in American, French, Hungarian, and Oregon oak. BLENDING DETAIL Merlot 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 13% PRODUCTION 2,340 Cases

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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.


- 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.