"The wine known simply as Leonetti 2009 Reserve is, in fact, 92% Cabernet Sauvignon (the rest Merlot), a major departure from the norm of two-thirds to three quarters established in its previous eleven vintages (other exceptions being 2000 and 2001 when the Cabernet share dipped to less than half). Interestingly, too, Petit Verdot vines have contributed a significant share of each earlier Reserve bottling since their first crop, 2000, but this year dropped out on account of having been hit by the late frost. While at 14.7% virtually identical in alcohol to the corresponding Cabernet Sauvignon bottling, this 2009 Reserve comes off as significantly fuller-bodied. It also misses the vibrancy of its ostensibly lesser sibling. "For the reserve," notes Chris Figgins, "we look for lots that are more backward and brooding," and he certainly was rewarded this year. Ripe, lightly-confitured cassis and mulberry are mingled with toasted nuts, peat, and dark Burley tobacco. High-toned suggestions of camphor, mint, and gentian distillate emerge with aeration. The amplitude and sheer fruit intensity here comes along with a palpable if well-coated tannic undergirding; and the finish splendidly soothes and sustains. The longer this was open to the air, the greater its appeal; and I'm only sorry I could not follow it for a second day. Look for at least 15 years of profound pleasure not to mention persistent contrast with the corresponding Cabernet bottling. 95 points"
- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate #204