CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE LAS CASES
2006 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
By a surprising contrast to the Clos du Marquis, the 2006 Las Cases is much more approachable. The malos were quick this year so it was in barrel earlier than usual (by the 15th of December, and the extra time in barrel before the tastings shows the the slightly more advanced style. A weighty curtain of black fruit and dry texture, cool and silky and savoury. Impressive weight and power. Not exactly charming, but this will be great, the harmony is there, along with the length. Rating: 94-94 L&S (May 2017)
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Jean-Hubert’s crown jewel is always difficult to assess in blind conditions, although the longer you leave it in your glass, the more it unfurls and your points start ratcheting up. The 2006 is no different: a rich, meaty nose with mulberry, sloe, pencil lead, a touch of shoe polish. The palate is medium-bodied, very sleek and smooth on the entry, ripe and rounded, quite sensuous and ravishing with plush black fruit, well-integrated new oak and a decadent, domineering primal finish that will demand 10-12 years cellaring. Rating: 96-96 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com
Like the other wines from this stable such as second wine Clos du Marquis, this was blended early and put into barrel a month earlier than usual. They are aware that the earlier start to élevage has had a (beneficial) effect on how the wine tastes at this stage, giving it greater smoothness. A little stronger than 2005 at 13.5%. The glass already feels weightier than Clos du Marquis! Very deep purple right out to rim. Big, big difference between this and Clos du Marquis on the nose - completely different. Rather opulent even. Rich and very fine and intense and certainly pulling out all the stops! There's finesse here. Even Las Cases is not trying to be big and tough this year. Trying for suppleness and fully ripe fruit. Very lively and fine tannins. Amazing nose even though not that much alcohol. Very neat long finish. 2012-26 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com
Perfectionist owner Jean-Hubert Delon believes the 2006 Leoville Las Cases recalls the greatness of the 1986 and 1996. The natural alcohol came in at 13.3%, and only 40% of the production made it into the final blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and a dollop of Cabernet Franc. This backward, deep ruby/purple-hued effort exhibits sweet, pure black cherry, raspberry, and cassis characteristics, soft, ripe tannin, and medium body. It reveals a strong similarity to its next door neighbor, Chateau Latour. The 2006 Las Cases will require 5-8 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 25-30 years. 2012-37 Rating: 93-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com
Intense colour, fragrant and smoky, masses of extract, almost Californian, but then wild violets and terroir expression come through, extraordinary richness of fruit yet perfect balance. 2015-40. Rating: ***** www.decanter.com
If somebody opined that this is the best wine of 2006, then I might not disagree. Jean-Hubert Delon has done wonders with a difficult vintage and produced a sublime wine that has the potential to surpass the 2005...it is that good. A deep purple, opaque core. The nose is stunning: sensuous cedary black fruits, crushed violets, and a hint of peppermint. Utterly seductive. The palate does not disappoint: beautifully balanced with perfect acidity, elegant sumptuous and vivacious. Certainly one of the best Las-Cases I have tasted at this stage, a Saint Julien to aspire to this year. It is so good that although stylistically different to the 2005, in quality terms it may turn out to be on par with that feted wine and I have little doubt that it will become one of my personal favourites. Léoville-Las-Cases can often be a challenging wine to drink for pleasure thanks to its stoic, conservative nature and its glacial evolution, but the 2006 is cut from a similar cloth as the wonderful 1985 that I had the pleasure to drink the day before. A joyous wine; sophisticated and regal; a guess you could sum it up by saying that Las-Cases has discovered sensuality. Rating: 96-98 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com
Offers a pure nose of crushed raspberry and violet, with aniseed. Full-bodied, with beautiful, well-integrated tannins and a long, polished texture to the finish. Very beautiful. Harmonious and structured. Best after 2015 Rating: 95-95 James Suckling, The Wine Spectator
Deep ruby. Knockout perfumed nose offers cassis, blackberry, violet, licorice, tar and minerals. Superripe, rich and seamless, combining great vinosity with compelling sucrosite Incredibly full for the vintage. Finishes with powerful but late-arriving tannins and outstanding palate-saturating persistence. Think of this as a modern version of the estate's 1986, with today's technology bringing a silkier mouth feel and more civilized tannins. Rating: 93-95 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
The sweetness of the fruit is backed by freshness and minerality on both nose and palate. The rounded tannins give an added weight to the fruit in the mouth but then towards the end it becomes firm and tight. 2016-35 Rating: 90-93 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk
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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