2009 Leonetti Cellar Merlot

Year: 2009
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 94
Red Wine
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"The 2009 Merlot displays inviting aromas of balsam wood, earthy minerals, spice box, black currant and blackberry. This sets the stage for a velvety-textured, layered, succulent wine that has impressive volume and length. It will provide prime drinking from 2013 to 2024.

"A Merlot with admirable restraint, showing a lively balance of raspberry and roasted meat flavors, finishing against fine tannins. Offers freshness and immediate appeal, but there's more underneath that cellaring could bring out. Drink now through 2019. 2,471 cases made." (WS)

"I don’t want to be responsible for any family disputes but it appears that Chris Figgins has taken over day-to-day operation of the venerable Leonetti Cellar from his father and winery founder, Gary Figgins." (WA)

"Deep red-ruby. Very ripe, slightly medicinal aromas of kirsch, black raspberry and licorice. Dense, powerful and dark in the mouth, with a slightly tough quality to the mulberry and licorice flavors. Finishes with good length, but the wine's serious tannic spine and a late peppery quality leave the finish a bit rigid today. Will this tightly coiled, very primary wine unwind with several years in bottle? Chris Figgins notes that very hot weather from mid-June to July was harder on the merlot in 2009 than it was on the cabernet sauvignon, and that the merlot struggled to achieve physiological ripeness." (IWC)

"Though 2009 was a difficult vintage for Washington Merlot, this is a truly luscious wine. It welcomes the taster instantly with massive, generous fruit cloaked in toasty, chewy, mocha and caramel flavors. Tasted over the course of 48 hours, it held up well, developing broad, well-integrated flavors of berries to complement the hedonistic oak. Sure to be a favorite." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Beautiful dark color. The warm 2009 vintage produced a very fine and generous Merlot. It is already drinking gorgeously. The wine has a stunning bouquet of berries, fresh blooming flowers, cedar shavings, and mocha. On the palate, it is incredibly long, lush, and soft, with pure fruit and melted caramel. This is a truly hedonistic Merlot and a fine example of why I love making this varietal. white pepper, and juniper berries. Searching harder there's just a hint of earthy mushroom or forest floor that I really love. It is deeply lush, soft. and packed with caramel, vanilla , fruit, and chocolate on the palate. Its tannin and acid are in perfect balance and will help this wine age for at least 5 years, though it is already drinking wonderfully.