Thursday I saw the dentist about a tooth with an old filling and a crack. Yet another crown destined for my mouth. The tooth was drilled, shaped, and packed, a temporary crown put in place. It felt like a cold piece of steel planted in my jaw, next to my ear canal.
When my wife said, "Let's open a bottle of Leonetti for our friends." I instantly perked up and forgot my pain - at least as long as the wine lasted.
This was Walla Walla wine night at our house. We were fortunate to share a great evening with great friends. I opened a bottle of 2005 Waterbrook Meritage and a bottle of 2006 Leonetti Merlot. We began with the Waterbrook Meritage, a light red, very easy to drink and a good wine to get the appetite rolling. We had plenty left to pair with dinner; grilled steaks, home made mac and cheese, greek salad and garlic bread.
I decanted the Leonetti while we enjoyed our conversation. If you are familiar with Walla Walla wines, then you know or know of, Leonetti Cellars. Gary Figgins produced his first Leonetti wines in 1978. Many say he is responsible for the famed Walla Walla wine reputation. Perhaps that is so, but I do know that you can't purchase wine from Leonetti Cellars, unless you are on The LIST. Fortunately for me, I have a friend who is on The LIST. By the by, the only time you can purchase wine from Leonetti Cellars is in the Spring.
Did the Leonetti Merlot live up to its reputation?
The 2006 Leonetti Merlot was a dark red wine, with a pink halo visible just at the edge. While it seemed a subdued wine at first, I detected aromas of aged dark fruit, a whif of earth, a hint of taragon and the memory fragment of my grandmothers cedar lined ocean apartment. Really. It was Medium-full in the mouth, quite smooth, pleasant, with just enough tannin and weight in the mouth to tell you it is a serious wine. Fruit and taragon came through stronger in the finish, accompanied by spice, cigar box and leather, and yes, a touch of chocolate covered cranberries lingered on the palette. What a serious wine, self-depricating, but unable to hide its talents and class, well balanced and very enjoyable.
The Leonetti 2006 Merlot has a great deal of depth. I can only imagine how well this wine will drink over the next several years. My friend, who is on The LIST, says I can go with him this year to purchase OUR Leonetti in the Spring. Joy! I'm looking forward to that road trip.
Leonetti 2006 Merlot: Highly Recommended.