CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE LAS CASES

2012 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien Château Leoville Las Cases

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

74% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc. Enormous colour density. Riper notes than the Clos du Marquis. Classic stuff, pure with lovely weight and volume. Nose still reticent. Palate starts quietly and builds in intensity. Supple feel. Core of pencil. Tannins show great depth, while remaining all ripe and fine. Saint Julien elegance combined with Pauillac power - just Las Cases. Jean-Hubert Delon said it made him think of the 1996 - and the 1990. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2013)

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The seriously endowed 2012 Las Cases exhibits a dense purple color as well as surprisingly sweet tannin and a forwardness that one does not normally find at this address. Medium to full-bodied with beautiful black currant, graphite, crushed rock and subtle oaky notes, it possesses lots of minerality and precision, impressive power, a rich mid-palate (which sets it apart from other St.-Juliens), and a long finish. It appears this beauty will be drinkable in 5-6 years, and last for 25 or more. One of the best, if not the finest wines made in St.-Julien in 2012 is Jean-Hubert Delon’s famed Leoville Las Cases. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol, which is interesting given the fact that its next door neighbor, Latour, only hit 12.8%. Delon said rot was no problem in their well-drained, gravelly vineyards (which are of first-growth quality in fact if not in name). 2018 - 2043 Rating: 93-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2013)

“A wine that isn’t far from being great” is how Jean-Hubert Delon modestly describes his 2012, comparing it favourably to his 2010. It’s certainly one of the Left Bank successes of the vintage: precise, dense and almost chiseled in that classic Las Cases way. The wine is surprisingly rich for its alcohol level, with very serious Médocain tannins and a touch more plumpness than the 2011, thanks to the addition of a little more Merlot. A claret for grown ups. Drink: 2022-40 Rating: 96 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2013)

Black crimson. Angular and savoury. Appetising above all. Not deep, nor sweet. Even slightly skinny. Very vibrato with the vintage character. Not one of the standouts of the vintage. Too angular. 2025 - 2038. Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2013)

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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