CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE BARTON

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2011 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Very deep purple-edged colour. This certainly tastes like Barton; regal flavours and depth, especially on the mid-palate where so many wines are lacking this year. Tannic, and the tannins are quite rigid on the finish, but authoritative, with 'cut' rather than apologetically dry and dense. The tannins on the finish are full of fruit and richness and powerfully long.
94/100

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Very floral with blueberry and blackberry on the nose. Mineral undertones. Full body, with chewy tannins and long intense finish. Serious structure and balance for the vintage.
92 - 93/100

A classic Léoville-Barton that deserves to sell well, this is aromatic and bright, with Asian spices, dark plums and some sweet bramble and cassis flavours framed by fresh acidity and grainy, subtly extracted tannins. Fans of “off vintages” from this reliable château would do well to buy a case or two and cellar it. 10+ years.
95

Focused blackberry, currant and cherry sauce flavors show notes of sweet tobacco and nicely roasted spice on the finish, with integrated grip.
90 - 93/100

Finely expressed intensity of fruit and a firmness of structure over natural aromatic ripeness to give it an assured future. Drink 2017-2035.
17.5

Very very dark and black core. Touch of oak char on the nose with sweet dark fruit hiding underneath. Cool and lithe and on the lean side yet fresh and fluid. Not forcing the vintage. Finishes fresh and really lively. 2018-2030
16.5

The blend this year is Cabernet Sauvignon 73%, Merlot 17% and Cabernet Franc 10%. There is a lovely density to the fruit character here, and yet it has a very finely tuned style. It feels concentrated but withdrawn, and also pure, fresh and elegant. The palate is beautiful, cool, pure, just as finessed as the aromatic profile suggested, hiding its tannins beautifully, the wine combining freshness and substance. This is a very finely composed palate, even though there is great structure here it seems very complete and composed, with ripe tannins, all nicely integrated and with balanced acidity. Delicious.
16.5-17.5

The Leoville Barton has a very elegant bouquet that takes time to unfurl. There are lovely notes of blackberry, dark plum and a touch of graphite. It unfurls beautifully if you lend it five minutes. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins, good substance, very elegant and refined with a natural, slightly earthy finish that is long in the mouth. Superb persistency – this is one of the top Saint Julien wines.
93-95

Leoville Barton-s 2011 is head and shoulders above its sister offering, Langoa Barton. Although not as backward as I expected given the general style that emerges from Anthony Barton-s beloved St.-Julien estate, this wine will need time in the bottle once it is released in several years. An opaque purple color is followed by aromas of damp earth, underbrush, black currants, cedar and hints of vanillin and incense. Medium to full-bodied and moderately tannic with good acidity as well as excellent delineation and purity, it should be forgotten for 4-5 years, and drunk over the following two decades. 2016 - 2036
90-92+

Appetising and savoury nose. The fresh and lively fruit. Zappy and direct with a dry inky finish. 2022-2035
17

The nose is deep brooding black fruited with black cherry and sloe backed by slightly sweeter cassis. Liquorice and coffee back the fruit on the palate the layers of flavour giving complexity and right at the back the bilberry freshness brings out the mint. 2022-45
91-94

10

St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 When the Marquis de Las-Cases-Beauvoir fled France during the Revolution, his Léoville estate was seized with an eye to selling it off. In the end, only a quarter was sold (although a further division occured a few years later), and this was purchased by Hugh Barton who had acquired the neighbouring estate of Château Pontet-Langlois (and re-named it Langoa-Barton) a few years earlier in 1821. The Barton's ownership of Langoa is the longest ownership by one family of any estate in the Médoc. Hugh's original intention, so it is said, in purchasing a portion of the Léoville estate was to sell it back to the emigré Marquis, but he was an emigré Marquis without sufficient means and the estate stayed with the Barton family, becoming Château Léoville Barton. There was no château attached and the wines were, and still are, made at Langoa. The Bartons had already been a fixture of the Bordeaux wine trade for a hundred years at this stage - Thomas Barton left his native Ireland in 1722 and settled in Bordeaux, eventually buying Château le Boscq in St Estèphe in 1745. His grandson Hugh, who bought the two Barton estates, developed a wine merchant's business with Daniel Guestier (Barton & Guestier), and the Guestier family proved crucial in protecting the Barton's châteaux during both the French Revolution and World War II when the Bartons had to flee France. Both Barton estates are planted to nearly 75% Cabernet Sauvignon with most of the rest being Merlot. Léoville Barton is the larger of the two at 47ha and has the grander reputation, whilst the 25ha Langoa Barton, the reputation of which has advanced considerably in recent years, has the edge on value. Anthony Barton has attracted considerable kudos for keeping the prices of his wines at comparatively competitive levels even through vintages when his neighbours couldn't resist the lure of excessive inflation.

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