Hello friends. We have had a busy March, with many new members added to the Full Pull list. Because of that, I’m going to try to reoffer some of the most popular wines from the past year that are still available. For list newbies, it’s a chance to access some old list favorites. For longer-term members, it’s a bonus reorder opportunity.
We’ll begin today with one of the most decorated wines produced in Washington each year:
Originally offered on February 12, 2013. Excerpts from original offering:
Today we have one of our annual Full Pull rites: our offering of Leonetti’s new releases. Deep in the grey-black gloom of February, it’s a bud pushing through cold earth: a clear indication that spring is on the ascendancy. It’s one of my favorite offerings to write each year. After all, it isn’t every day that you get to write about the grand dame of the Walla Walla Valley, the founding winery in that AVA that quickly became one of Washington’s few cult producers.
Founded in 1978 by Gary Figgins, Leonetti rapidly established a reputation as one of Washington’s top Cabernet and Merlot producers, helped along by their 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon being recognized as best in nation in a Wine & Spirits Magazine blind tasting. Brisk mailing list sales followed, and soon thereafter, the mailing list closed and the waiting list opened.
Currently it’s the second generation helming the winery, in the form of Chris Figgins. Chris has subtly shifted the emphasis of the winery towards its estate vineyards in the past few years, and the results have been outstanding. I have also been lucky enough to taste vintages of Leonetti wines from the ‘80s and ‘90s, as well as plenty of more recent vintages. These are wines that can age in profoundly beautiful directions (if you can resist their youthful charms). The transition to Leonetti’s second generation is just about complete, and the future for this Mt. Rushmore-level Washington winery looks bright indeed.
While they had produced Reserve Cabernets before 2000, it was at the millennial turn that Leonetti dropped the varietal designation on their Reserve, freeing them to create a Bordeaux blend in whatever proportions would craft the finest wine possible. In 2010, that blend is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, rounded out with 9% each Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Vineyards include Leonetti’s estate Mill Creek Upland, Loess, and Old Block vineyards, along with fruit from Seven Hills. No reviews yet for the 2010, but the 2008 received 97pts Jay Miller (Wine Advocate), 96pts Gregutt (also a spot on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2011), and the 2009 95pts David Schildknecht (Wine Adovcate), as well as 94pts Gregutt and Tanzer.
Winery tasting notes: “Very dark wine. Compared to the beautiful 2010 Cabernet, this has an even more floral dominated and very ethereal aromatic nose. Whiffs of raspberries, black berries, ripe black Bing cherries – reminiscent of a stove top reduction of fruit cheesecake topping. Incredible purity of fruit. Wine just makes me smile when it hits the palate as it is so loaded with glycerin and a gentle power. Fruit is SO present, yet SO restrained. Ripe and lovely. All wound up in a perfectly balanced package of fruit, acid, tannin, plushness, power and length. 20 years from now I would not be surprised if I looked back at this wine as the finest achievement of my career due to its sheer longevity of drinking pleasure.”
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.