|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
It has been a little while since I tasted the Château Léoville-Barton 1989. Now at 25 years of age, it has an open bouquet with vestiges of brambly red fruit, scorched earth and chestnut, touches of fireside hearth developing with time. There is something almost comforting about Anthony Barton's wine, its familiarity putting you at ease. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that have softened in recent years and it gently builds to a saline, rather austere finish. Gentle, but classy Saint Julien, you can enjoy this for another 15 years without worry. Tasted June 2014. Drinking range: 2014 - 2030 Rating: 90-90 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Jul 2016)
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|Chelsea||020 7244 0522|
|Kensington||020 7221 1982|
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|Chiswick||020 8995 7355|
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In most tastings of the 1989 and 1990 vintages I have had a strong preference for the 1990, but in this tasting the 1989 provided the most charming drinking with its soft, voluptuous texture, big, spicy, cedary nose, sweet, expansive fruit, medium body, and excellent richness and purity. The wine reveals no amber at the edge, but it tastes surprisingly evolved and already delicious. I would not hesitate to drink it over the next 12-15+ years. Rating: 90-90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Mar 2005)
Château Leoville Barton
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.
Léoville Barton has 51 hectares in production, the vineyard is of top-class deep gravels - part of the bank that is closest to the Gironde, continuing southward from Las Cases and Poyferré, with Ducru Beaucaillou beyond - with clay underneath. It is densely planted (9100 plants per hectare) with around 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and most of the rest being Merlot.
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