Leonetti Cellar Merlot 2018

Concentrated, luscious, smooth
  • $142.00

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Leonetti Cellar Merlot 2018

Leonetti Cellar Merlot is all a Merlot strives to be: concentrated, luscious and smooth. Extremely dark and impressively structured. Aromas of roses, ripe mixed plums, hints of cedar ad creamy cinnamon burst from the nose. The broad and rich palate entices seductively with its incredibly focused fruit and silky tannins. 

100% Merlot. An incredible vintage that needs no support from other Bordeaux varieties. Two-thirds of the fruit comes from Leonetti's exceptional Loess Vineyard and the balance is a contribution from Mill Creek Upland and Leonetti's 40-year-old original block at the Leonetti winery.

Merlot is often thought of as Cabernet’s little sister, but Leonetti Cellar strongly believes that in the Walla Walla Valley it produces wines capable of standing on their own merits and time has proven this. The Merlot for this wine is grown on Leonetti's cooler sites with slightly heavier soils.

The wine ages for 15 months in new and once-filled French oak barrels and neutral oval botti.

Ageing potential: Made to age for 15–25 years with proper cellaring (stored horizontally at 55–57 degrees). Drink now through 2038.



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.


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.


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.

 - 92 POINTS

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.