Jean Leon 3055 Merlot / Petit Verdot is a red wine blend that is part of a range of Jean Leon wines named 3055 after the number of the taxi cab he drove when he first arrived in New York.
Jean Leon was born in Santander, moved with his family to Barcelona, and eventually manage to stow away on a ship bound from Le Havre in France to New York. After driving a cab and working as a busboy and waiter he eventually ended up in Hollywood working at the Villa Capri, a tinseltown restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Soon he was rubbing shoulders with the good, the bad, politicians and movie stars and on April 1st 1956 he opened La Scala, a very famous Hollywood restaurant, which he co-owned with James Dean. Jean Leon became very interested in wine, indeed La Scala had an underground cellar with some 25,000 bottles in, and soon ended up in his home country of Spain looking to make a signature Jean Leon wine. He bought vineyards in 1962 and completed building a winery in 1963. Leon was a real pioneer in the Spanish wine industry, he immediately grubbed up all the local vines and replanted with single vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay – in fact, he is credited with being the first to release a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% Chardonnay in Spain.
The Torres family took control of Jean Leon wines in 1994 but the estate continues to be run as a separate entity from rest of their wines and remains true to Leon’s vision. Today the estate consists of some 63 hectares of vineyards in Penedes at an elevation of 600m. The grapes for the Jean Leon 3055 Merlot / Petit Verdot come from two separate vineyards. There are 8 hectares of Petit Verdot and 12 hectares of Merlot, the Merlot was planted in 1998. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats with about 2 weeks skin contact. A portion of the wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 2 months. The blend is 6% Merlot and 40% Petit Verdot.
Wines produced at the Jean Leon estate are certified organic beginning with the 2012 vintage.