Lovely sustained ruby-purple. Bright and pure and aromatically sophisticated fruit with soft ripe berry flavours. Really a very sophisticated wine. Palate shows oak spice. Silky supple coolly expressed concentrated black fruit. The acidity is strong on the finish, but it gives good definition and mouthwatering succulence rather than dryness. Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2014)
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A very good effort in 2013, this blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was cropped at 31 hectoliters per hectare. It reveals good ripeness for this vintage along with tasty, elegant, black cherry fruit intermixed with hints of tobacco leaf and dusty, loamy undertones, and a medium-bodied mouthfeel. The tannin begins to dry out every so slightly, but this is a good St.-Julien in this tough vintage. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. 2014-2022 Rating: 87-88 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Aug 2014)
(73% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot and 9% cabernet franc; 3.57 g/l total acidity; 3.77 pH; 13% alcohol; 31 h/h; 50% new oak): Full, saturated ruby. Herbal and leafy notes, plus a touch of green bell pepper, along with delicate blackcurrant on the nose. Then richer and sweeter on the palate than the nose suggests, with delicate floral and red berry flavors lingering nicely. The finish is persistent but edgy, even a bit clenched today, featuring some youthfully tough, building tannins that will need a few years to soften. But I'm not at all sure that the fruit will hold up. Very much dominated by cabernet sauvignon this year. Rating: 85-88 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)
Perfumed and spicy the nose has lots of charm and although the start of the palate is quite light there is richness and sweetness in the middle. Blackcurrant is backed by black cherry layers of flavour lots of complexity there is the feeling of balance the ripe black fruits enriching the finish. 2018-28 Rating: 89-92 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(May 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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