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2013 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

In the same sort of line as the Clos du Marquis, with a purer, more lifted fruit on the nose, more aromatically 'pointed'. More graphite and pencil shavings too. Palate rich but not too rich, suave volume with finest tannins, but really just a weighty, supple silk feel, the tannins are just on the edge. Fruit is reserved, but the volume is here. Blackcurrant, spice, damsons, complex and intertwined. - really well done. The finish has more tannin, but it is mouthwatering rather than drying. Rating: 93+ L&S (Apr 2014)

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Better than many of the Medoc first-growths, the 2013 Las Cases was harvested relatively late, between October 2 and 17. It is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Only 40% of the production made it into the grand vin, and the finished alcohol was 13.1%. It reveals a dense ruby/purple color, supple tannins, good texture and depth, excellent freshness and intense dark currant and black cherry fruit notes. While not a blockbuster, it is a medium-bodied, well-endowed 2013 that should drink well for 10-15 years. 2014-2029 Rating: 89-92+ Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2014)

(74% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc and 12% merlot; 3.69 pH; 13% alcohol; 31 h/h; 85% new oak): Bright ruby-red. Very floral, minty red fruits and minerals on the captivating nose. Then tougher on the palate, with the spicy red fruit flavors kept under wraps by serious tannins and lively acidity. The bright, long finish features very pure floral and red berry nuances. Not the most charming LLC in memory, but a major success for the vintage. I especially like its lovely aromatic nose, which owes a lot to the strong cabernet franc presence, one of the largest percentages ever in this wine (at 50+ years, LLC has some especially old cabernet franc vines, and that makes a big difference on the Left Bank). Keep in mind that the 2008 also had a similarly high percentage of cabernet franc (12%), and I believe that this wine is also one of the stars of its vintage Rating: 89-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)

The Cabernet Sauvignon that makes up the core of this blend (74%) was surprisingly ripe in 2013. It still has the famous rigour and structure of Las Cases, with bloody, iron-like notes, but there’s more than enough black-fruited flesh on the bones. Very fine. 2020-30 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, 2014)

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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