Leonetti Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; 2008 Merlot

Hello friends. I was not planning to send out an offering today, but an opportunity just flashed across my inbox that is too good to pass up. It’s not every day that we get the chance to present wines from one of Washington’s cult wineries, and I don’t intend to let this one slip by.

The timing on this offering is tight. I need to place my order by 3 PM Wednesday (after that, these bottles will be released to other retail and restaurant accounts), and then we will receive this wine at the warehouse on Thursday. Because of the quick turnaround, I don’t have nearly the amount of time it would take to do proper justice to this winery. But allow me to paint some broad strokes (for more details, check out this excellent article by Paul Gregutt from 2006):

Gary Figgins bonded Leonetti Cellars in 1977 and has been producing premium wine commercially since 1978. Leonetti is absolutely the pioneer winery of the Walla Walla Valley. They were the first to set up shop in Walla Walla, and with their estate vineyards, they helped to establish a reputation for quality that has now drawn more than 100 wineries to the region. Gary’s son Chris is now the head winemaker, and the two “keep tweaking things in the vineyards and cellar as they move toward totally biodynamic farming. As usual, their wines are benchmarks against which others must be measured.” (Jay Miller, writing in Wine Advocate, October 2009).

Their wines are also difficult to find. One option is to join the waiting list for the Leonetti mailing list (the mailing list has been closed for many years). They currently estimate the waiting time at 5-8 years, so with any luck, you could make it onto the list in 2015. Or, for those of us with less patience, I present the following immediate gratification:

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

This will be a wine to sit on for at least five years (if you can resist!) and would make a good 21st birthday gift in 2028 for kids born in 2007:

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: ** (Exceptional).”

Note: Sean was kind enough to send me his pre-publication reviews of these wines. Expect a full write-up on the Leonetti wines on Washington Wine Report in the coming days. It will likely be months, on the other hand, before we see reviews of these wines from print publications, but it’s worth noting that the previous vintage (2006) Cab received 96 Wine Enthusiast; 95 Wine Advocate; and 94 Tanzer.

2008 Merlot

Again, this is 100% Walla Walla Valley fruit, and again, this has plenty of built-in structure to age gracefully for many years.

Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].  Rating: * (Outstanding).”

The 2007 vintage received 94 WE; 93 WA; 92 Tanzer.

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This is a pitch-perfect example of the power of the Full Pull model. Because we have the agility to act quickly, we can grab a nice parcel of highly-allocated wine before it trickles down through traditional channels. That said, these wines are quite limited, so I’m afraid I need to limit order requests to 2 bottles of each wine. We will do our best to fulfill all requests, and as I mentioned at the start, we will have these wines in the warehouse by Thursday afternoon, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping.

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