|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
The initial impression is of a very strong sweet oakiness - rather new world in style. But the volume is there underneath and the dense fruit character of the wine shrugs off this coating and powers on with smooth dry Cabernet cassis and cherry on the finish. Massive. I like this but wish it had a bit more ‘cut’. Rating: 88 L&S (Apr 2005)
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Deep red. Aromas of cherry, espresso and mellow smoky oak. Round but on the dry side, showing less flavor intensity in the middle than the 2006. A wine of moderate ripeness and punch. Today the tannins cut off the wine's fruit. Perhaps in an awkward stage. (May/June 2007) Rating: 88-88 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar(May 2007)
Dark, bright purple. Very floral, aromatic, supple and rather gorgeous. Sophisticated - acidity a bit pronounced - but good density of ripe fruit, suggestion of bitumen but nothing exaggerated. Lots of relatively supple fruit for a (second) wine from the Delon/Las Cases stable. Very well integrated tannins. Drink 2010-16 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2005)
Lots of blackberry character with hints of toasted oak and earth. Full-bodied, with chunky yet velvety tannins and a medium finish. Very well done. Almost 92-94. Rating: 89-91 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2005)
Château Léoville Las Cases
St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 One of the leading "super-seconds" - a second growth chateau who's wines rival, in terms of quality and often price, the fabled First Growths of the Haut-Médoc. Before the Revolution, the Leoville estate was one of the largest and grandest in the region. At the time, it was in the aristrocratic ownership of the family of the Marquis de Las-Cases-Beauvoir. Unsurprisingly, the Marquis had to flee. To avoid Leoville being seized, the family decided to sell up but the complicated ownership of the estate, which was split between siblings, prevented the sale of Leoville as a whole and, in the end, only a small portion was sold off, to Hugh Barton, and this became Château Leoville Barton. The remainder of the estate came back to the Marquis' family when his son, Pierre-Jean, inherited most of Leoville, the only exception being a small portion inherited by his sister Jeanne. Jeanne's daughter married Baron Jean-Marie de Poyferré and, in 1840, this portion of the estate sheered off to become Château Leoville Poyferré. To stop further divisions among inheriting children, a holding company was founded to own Château Las Cases. Théophile Skawinski, who managed the estate, bought some shares which later passed to his son-in-law André Delon. The Delon family continued to buy share as they became available until, eventually, they became the owners of Château Leoville Las Cases. The bulk of Las Cases's vineyards - the Grand Clos - sit at the very northern end of St Julien, facing Château Latour across the Ruisseau de Juillac. The vines are planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The hand-picked grapes are fermented in an unusual array of wooden, stainless-steel and cement tanks. Wines spend 20 months in oak, with the proportion of new wood for the grand vin varying from 50% to 100% depending on the vintage. Château Leoville Las Cases have one of the most highly regarded "second wines" in Bordeaux - Clos du Marquis. The first vintage was in 1902, long predating most of its competitors. Its status as a true "second wine" is sometimes disputed, as there is a distinct Clos du Marquis vineyard, a little way to the west of the Grand Clos, although the cuvée does include some declassifications from the grand vin and fruit of younger vines. Its status as a "second wine" also belies the quality which exceeds many of the region's "first" wines.
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