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2011 Leonetti Cellars Merlot Walla Walla Valley

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93 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2013

(aged in about one-third new oak):  Good deep red with ruby highlights.  Sweet aromas of cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate, cocoa powder and spicecake.  Sweet, suave and lush; wonderfully pliant for 2011.  Really saturates the palate with dark berry, dark chocolate and spice flavors.  Finishes impressively broad and fine-grained, with ripe, mouthcoating tannins and outstanding length.  A very fine and thoroughly satisfying Washington merlot.

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Merlot enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s as consumers suddenly discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. A wave of Merlot plantings followed, frequently in soils and microclimates completely inappropriate for this variety, and the market was soon...
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