1998 Leonetti Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #992944 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Here again the 1998 vintage shows its forward, fat, fruity, lip-smackingly luscious qualities right out in front. This is a meaty, oaky Cab, with firm, tongue-lashing tannins, plenty of red berry/cassis fruit and a power-packed profile from top to bottom. It’s delicious and strong, with coffee, bitter chocolate and licorice lining the extended finish. (PG)  (10/2001)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon's bouquet offers aromas of toasty oak and spice. This mouth-coating, explosive wine is crammed with a myriad of spices, jammy blackberries, sweet cherries, and cherry syrup-drenched fruitcake. This is a hedonist's delight, yet it has loads of tannin that provide a firm, tight, structured finish. (PR)  (10/2001)

93 points Wine Spectator

 A ripe, round and graceful Washington Cabernet. A pretty wine that's generous with its plum and black currant flavors, swirling with jasmine, rose petal and vanilla flavors, and echoing fruit, spice and floral notes on the long, supple finish. *Highly Recommended* (HS)  (9/2001)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full red-ruby color. Sexy aromas of raspberry, mocha and roast coffee. Juicy, sappy and sweet, with excellent acidity giving shape and definition to the cassis flavor. Very nicely integrated, subtle oakiness adds complexity. Finishes with a whiplash of dark berry flavor. This is less obviously opulent than it was when I tasted it immediately after the bottling last summer, but this superb Cabernet offers terrific potential. 91+ (ST)  (9/2001)

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Price: $69.99
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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.