CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE LAS CASES
1996 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
85% Cabernet Sauvignon this year. A good Cabernet year, very ripe. Gorgeously intense dark fruit on the nose. Spicy and pure and dark fruited. Paper-fine tannins, great finesse and tenderness. Well defined. Dry and cleansing on the finish. Super-fine texture and very long. Subtle and long and gorgeously dry. Drinking range: 2006 - 2028 Rating: 18-18 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2017)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 1996 Leoville-Las Cases is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc picked between 25 September and 10 October (for fascinating insight, read Robert Parker's remarks about the blend with Michel Delon in the original tasting note). Now at 20 years, it has evolved into an absolutely stunning Saint Julien, clearly one of the best wines from the estate this decade. The bouquet is beautifully defined with intense black cherries, cedar, mint and a touch of oyster shell that seems to gain intensity in the glass. The palate is seamless from start to finish, extraordinarily pure, the 70% new oak totally assimilated of course, impressive weight and power allied with genuine finesse and tension towards the silky smooth finish. It stands as one of the best wines of the vintage without one iota of doubt and it will last 30-40 years without problem. You might call it "proper Claret." You might call it "delicious." Tasted July 2016. Drinking range: 2020 - 2050 Rating: 98-98 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (Oct 2016)
85% very ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the year that Delon really pushed up the prices. Amazingly deep crimson. Very fresh and rigorous. Very firm and was probably pretty tough in its youth. Long and absolutely classic. No hint of modernity – except for the super-ripe, super-sorted fruit. Very clean and breezy. Drinking range: 2012 - 2040 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2016)
Deep dark damson colour and little sign of age. Sweet red fruit and the first touch of undergrowth. Then more cassis, a touch of mint. Lovely fine dry texture, very fine and smooth. Fresh, quite tight. Still not really ready? Very fresh and a long powerful but fresh finish. Great length. Digestible. High-percentage Cabernet vintage. 2010-2030 Rating: 18 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2011)
Having previously rated it nearly perfect, I was apprehensive of a letdown about tasting the 1996 Leoville Las Cases once it had been bottled, but that concern was quickly dismissed once I put my nose in the glass. A profound Leoville Las Cases, it is one of the great modern day wines of Bordeaux. This wine's hallmark remains a sur-maturite (over-ripeness) of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Yet the wine has retained its intrinsic classicism, symmetry, and profound potential for complexity and elegance. The black/purple color is followed by a spectacular nose of cassis, cherry liqueur, pain grille, and minerals. It is powerful and rich on the attack, with beautifully integrated tannin, massive concentration, yet no hint of heaviness or disjointedness. As this wine sits in the glass it grows in stature and richness. It is a remarkable, seamless, palate-staining, and extraordinarily elegant wine - the quintessential St.-Julien. Despite the sweetness of the tannin, I would recommend cellaring this wine for 7-8 years. 2007-2035. Rating: 98 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Mar 2005)
Saturated bright, dark ruby. Perfumed, vibrant, very youthful aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Dense and powerful, with great clarity of flavor thanks to a terrific spine of acidity. Almost painfully structured wine but not at all hard. Finishes very long and gripping, with a note of bitter chocolate. Drink 2012 through 2040. Rating: 96-96 Stephen Tanzer, www.vinousmedia.com (Jul 2002)
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