2018 Leonetti Cellar Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, USA (750ml)
A beautiful, layered red with blackberries, violets and chocolate. It’s full-bodied, yet agile and driven. Such balance and harmony. Lovely length. Drinkable now, but better in 2022.
-James Suckling, 96 pts
Already bottled, the 2018 Merlot comes from a mix of vineyards in Walla Walla (Loess, Mill Creek, and Leonetti) and spent 15 months in new and once-used French oak. Juicy, vibrant, and pure, yet also with plenty of power, it is loaded with ripe currants and black cherry fruit as well as notes of chocolate, leafy herbs, and graphite. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, with ripe tannins, it's a rocking Merlot that's going to benefit from just a year or two of bottle age and drink brilliantly for 8-10 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck, 94 pts
This wine is 100% varietal—what a glorious example of Merlot. Aromas of dark-raspberry compote, plum, dark chocolate and cedar are followed by textured, layered, rich flavors that a firm spine of tannins stands up. Lovely acidity brightens it.
-Wine Enthusiast, 93 pts
Beginning with a heady nose of spiced plum and Chambord notes, the 2018 Walla Walla Merlot pops out of the glass with dark cherry reduction and purple flowers. Full-bodied, the palate is generous with the red spice and potpourri elements. The wine's robustness offers gobs of pleasure but is not as complex as the rest of the range. The Merlot ends with a long, lingering finish with spiced plum notes.
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92 pts
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