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2017 Leonetti Cellar Merlot$109.99Wine Spectator 94: Polished and multilayered, with expressive red currant, smoky spice and green olive accents that take on richness toward fine-grained tannins.Wine Advocate 93: Mostly Merlot with 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Walla Walla Merlot begins with a black-fruited nose but quickly moves to express red fruit on the palate. The wine is precise, with hints of pencil shavings and juicy plum, while the Cabernet expression lifts the back end with subtle spices. Medium to full-bodied, the wine ends with a long-lingering finish that delivers pleasure and complexity. This is a tasty and gorgeous Merlot, of which there were 1,866 cases made.James Suckling 94: Notes of iodine and some smoky nuances, as well as sappy, foresty freshness to the red plums and darker berries. The palate has rich tannins and dark-plum flavors pervade the assertive finish. A blend of 94% merlot, 4% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon. Try from 2023.Wine Enthusiast 91: Black raspberry, dried and fresh herb and black currant aromas are at the fore. Ripe, lush fruit flavors follow, supported by firm, lightly grainy tannins. It has a nice yum factor. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection.
2015 Pedestal Merlot$65.99Wine Advocate 94: The 2015 Pedestal Merlot is a rich, dramatic wine that wafts from the glass with aromas of black cherries, crème de cassis, cigar tobacco and mocha. On the palate, it's broad, full-bodied and lavish, with ripe, generously oak-inflected flavors and an ample core of fruit, structured by fine-grained but youthfully chewy tannins, concluding with a sweet, spicy and somewhat heady finish. The most exotic and expressive wine in the Long Shadows range, it's crafted by Michel Rolland.James Suckling 94: A very vivid and pure red with aromas of blackberries and blueberries. Hints of violets and licorice, too. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows tension and focus. Give it two or three years to soften. A blend of 75% merlot, 15% cabernet sauvignon and 10% petit verdot. Drink in 2020 and beyond.Wine Enthusiast 92: High-toned exotic spice, dark raspberry and barrel aromas are followed by focused, supremely rich fruit flavors that lead to a warm finish. Firm tannins provide support. For those who question if Merlot can be a serious wine, this is your answer.