|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
Léoville has the aristo cut and dash that Langoa does in softness and charm. But this is not too massive nor too intensely concentrated, it should drink at 8-15 years old. A faint hint of menthol, a fine, firm, grippy style, so black in expression it's barely fruit, with chalky, Nebbiolo-ish tannins. Classic black dry aromas and firm spicy tannins, and a sense of energy too. Lovely finish with lots going on. Rating: 94-95 L&S (Apr 2016)
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This is a very focused Barton with ultra-fine tannins that are so polished and chalky. It drives through the center palate with currant and berry character. Full-bodied, polished and straightforward with driving tannin. Love the texture. Class. Yes. Drinking range: 2021 - Rating: 96 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
Deep crimson. Fresh and zesty. Much more lifted than its Langoa stablemate. Really rather glorious actually. Very fresh but with slaty undertow. Now this is a 'mineral' wine! Drinking range: 2028 - 2045 Rating: 18 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Nov 2017)
Grippy and quite backward - as it often tends to be at this early stage - but this has plenty of fruit power and concentration in reserve, with fine tannins and stylish oak integration. One for the cellar. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (May 2016)
Château Léoville 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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