Leonetti Cellar originally made its mark as a merlot producer and the 2003 vintage shows why. Vintage notes from the winery: “Much like 2002, the 2003 vintage was incredible for it’s lack of precipitation. While Eastern Washington normally has little growing season rain—to have vintages completely devoid of rain is quite unusual. In its’ place was our usual glorious warming sunshine and refreshingly cool nights. Spring time bloom occurred without event, resulting in even set and eventual ripening. Due to consistent warm temperatures, harvest for Merlot came in two relatively early volleys, the 2nd-7th of September, and Sept. 20th-24th for our cooler sites.”
|Leonetti Cellars Merlot Columbia Valley 2003||The nose is outrageous and is as compelling as any wine I have had, evolving second by second and swirl by swirl. Initially, floral aromas predominate but as the wine opens up, it becomes a virtual wine wheel with anise, cocoa powder, dried fruit, leather, and blueberry. Late, earth and herbal notes show through along with white pepper. On the taste, dried fruit and beautifully refined tannins stand out on this lip smacking wine. This wine is an easy three or more years from its peak and should drink well for the next ten plus. 82% Merlot; 7% Cabernet; 4% Cab Franc; 4% Carmenere; 3% Sangiovese. 83% Walla Walla Valley Vineyards: Seven Hills, Mill Creek Upland, Pepper Bridge and Leonetti Estate. 17% Columbia Valley Vineyards: Dionysus and Conner-Lee. 2,570 cases produced.||$60|
Nice description! I actually drooled a bit during class, which is embarrassing. I will keep my eye out for this on Winebid and see if I can try a bottle.
I have been a longstanding buyer and then On the list for Leonetti wine many years. I recently had a bottle of 1981 Merlot-very good, lighter style/weight, good color, very satisfying, was ready for it to be over the hill. Have to drink up these older wines.