Leonetti Cellar was founded in 1977 by Gary and Nancy Figgins. Leonetti, along with Quilceda Creek and Woodward Canyon put premium Washington Cabernet Sauvignon on the radar of wine consumers across the United States. Leonetti also produces one of the very best domestic Merlots.
Leonetti is near and dear to me as a wine consumer, and I’ve been on their mailing list for 15 years. Vintages like the ’92 Merlot and ’98 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon are included among my most memorable wines. The ’98 Cabernet Sauvignon seemed a perfect bottle to open while ringing in the New Year.
At the time, 1998 was one of the best vintages on record for Washington. Leonetti sourced grapes for the Cab from a number of Columbia Valley vineyards including Seven Hills, Windrow, Spring Valley, Pepper Bridge, Sagemoor, Conner-Lee and Leonetti Estate. The result was a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.
The wine is ruby red in color. The nose just screams Leonetti. Spicy oak, vanilla and cherries. Cassis, currants, graham cracker and herbs. This wine is super silky with seductive tannins. The finish is long and sweet.
The wine is exceptional now and I would not cellar it much longer. I have a few bottles left of the ’98 Reserve and hope to check in on it in the not so distant future.
My rating: 94 points.
Leonetti has a full mailing list but the wine is readily available at retail in late-March. The winery has done an exceptional job at holding the line on prices and you should be able to find bottles right around $85.
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