CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE LAS CASES
2008 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
Nearly blue at the rim. Very young aromas, slightly dusty with oak, but suave and soft purity of feel and expression, chalk-fine tannins again, all packed with flavour to come. The intensity of the expression is there but slow release (the maitre di chai says he calls it 'LP', to stand for 'Libération Prolongée'). Straight but also quietly expansive, there is so nearly an edge of sweetness without it quite becoming that. Very long. Rating: 93-94 L&S (Apr 2009)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2008 Léoville Las Cases has a backward, broody, earthy bouquet with intense tobacco and graphite aromas, more like a Pauillac than a Saint Julien, no surprise given that it lies on the border. The palate is very impressive: layers of tobacco-tinged black fruit, sea salt and graphite. This is very precise and harmonious with a persistent and multi-layered finish that leaves you mightily impressed. Drinking range: 2020 - 2050 Rating: 96 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Feb 2018)
Readers should not be surprised that the 2008 Leoville Las Cases is a great classic as the selection process here is as Draconian as at any of the first-growths. Slightly more than one-third of the production made it into the grand vin, a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. Yields were just under 38 hectoliters per hectare, and the natural alcohol of 13.4% is among the highest ever measured at this estate. The harvest was very late, between October 6-18, and the result is a wine boasting extraordinarily sweet tannin as well as abundant black cherry and cassis notes intermixed with a prominent underlying minerality. Despite the massive density, concentration, and length, the wine is extremely precise, nuanced, and impeccably pure. This phenomenal effort should be more drinkable in its youth than many other vintages of Las Cases because of the ripe tannins and sweet fruit density. It will need 5-10 years of cellaring, and should last for 40+ years. Rating: 95 - 97+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Apr 2009)
Extremely deep blackish crimson. Spicy oak on the nose – very intense. Then amazingly opulent on the nose. Round and dense and dramatic. Like a cross between mulberries and tarmacadam. The Cabernets were naturally more than 13% apparently. Real excitement. Neat though not extraordinarily long finish. Still very, very youthful. The finish is very dry and brooding but much more supple than some earlier vintages. 2018-35 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2009)
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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