|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Fresh but subdued nose, compact to start but there is spice, and depth in the density of fruit on the mid-palate. Dense tannins too, but the succulence holds sway. Long as the flavour-filled tannins melt and unravel. It is as always a wine that requires a certain patience. From 2025. Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2013)
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The fruit on the nose is deep and brooding and although the palate has a nice weight of fruit the mid palate is quite lean lacking richness and depth. Towards the back ripe cassis does give a little more weight but the finish is lacking in intensity. 2020-30 Rating: 87-90 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)
The Grand Vin is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 3 and 15 October at 32hl/ha. It is more introspective than the Langoa at this early stage, but perhaps more complex with subtle tertiary and pencil lead scents infusing the black fruit profile. The palate is superbly balanced with fine tannins, delineated black and red fruit infused with graphite borrowed north from Pauillac. It exudes focus and precision and should be one of the finest Saint Julien 2012s. Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(May 2013)
This well-made, complete St.-Julien possesses a dense purple color as well as surprisingly soft tannins for this wine which tends to be jacked up with a lot of structure, masculinity and muscle in most vintages. The 2012 offers attractive cedary, black currant fruit and vanilla notes, and a medium-bodied, denser mid-palate than many of its peers’. The tannins are noticeable in the finish, so give this wine 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades as it will be one of the longer lived wines of the vintage. 2017-2037 Rating: 90-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)
Rating: 90 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2013)
Very neutral nose that opened out to something pretty savoury. Very attractive, fine, top-quality oak on the finish. Lovely balance. Should just get better and better. Everything seems ripe and in balance here. 2022 - 2045. Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2013)
Dense black-red, firm, quite spicy Cabernet Sauvignon, both ripeness and firmness is there, elegance over power and a good future. Drink: 2017 - 2035. Rating: 17.75 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2013)
Small crop and quite extracted this is a rich, dark Barton but there is admirable freshness & crunch, too. Rating: 18 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Apr 2013)
Tight, with an iron spine driving through the red currant, steeped cherry and blackberry core. The toast emerges on the finish, showing well-integrated briary grip. Features solid stuffing for the vintage. Rating: 90-93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2013)
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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