2014 Leonetti Cellar Merlot

Year: 2014
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.3%
Price :

94% Merlot 6% Cabernet Franc

"Dense, with cherry and herbal overtones in a package wrapped in firm, fine, peppery tannins, swerving into a long and expressive finish. Needs time to soften the edges. Best from 2018 through 2023. 1,848 cases made.–HS" (WS)

"A soft, sexy and luxuriously textured red, the 2014 Walla Walla Merlot (there’s 6% Cabernet Franc in the blend) is loaded with perfectly ripe notes of black currants, lead pencil shavings, charred earth and chocolate. Full-bodied and possessing a wealth of fruit, you have to hunt for the tannin, but they’re there; still, fruit and texture are the name of the game here. The baby fat should slowly melt away and it should have 15 years or more of longevity." (WA)

"(from Loess and Mill Creek Upland): Bright ruby-red. Deep, liqueur-like griotte cherry, wild herb and licorice aromas lifted by a slightly high-toned floral element. A lushly fruity, fine-grained fruit bomb on the palate, gaining creaminess with time in the glass. This wine has a pH of 3.52 following a bit of acidification. As sexy as it already is, the tannins currently impinge a bit on the finishing fruit, so I'd wait a year or two. Merlot for Pinot lovers." (VM)

"Aromatically, this wine is currently subdued, with the notes of raspberry, cocoa and cherry that haven't fully blossomed. The flavors meanwhile are generous and ripe, while still showing a fine sense of balance. Additional time in the bottle or a long decant should allow it to open up." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Placing one’s nose into a glass of this year’s Merlot results in an immediate smile. It leads with a gorgeous pure fruit nose of compote reduction and graham cracker that jump from the glass. It is so rich, lush, and pure. It is a positively delicious wine that I cannot help but drink more of today, but will easily age 10+ years for those of you who enjoy cellaring wines. This is everything Merlot wants to and can be in Washington State.