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CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE BARTON

2016 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Grapes Merlot, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot. 60% new barrels. The Merlots were picked 29th September to the 1st October, the Cabernets between the 5th and 13th of October. Very blue-edged purple. Fresh nose, purple brightness and spice, very Barton from the word go - it's all about the quality of the fruit, juice and savour, all so healthy-seeming, with an unforced but concentrated 'natural' elegance and purity. Good definition and grip. Wonderful clarity of expression. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 93-95 L&S (Apr 2017)

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Deep purple-colored and a classic Saint-Julien with its pure crème de cassis, graphite, liquid rock, and essence of lead pencil shavings, the 2016 Château Léoville Barton is full-bodied, concentrated, and backward, with bright acidity and ripe yet certainly present and building tannins. This old-school, classic Léoville Barton has a fine thread of acidity keeping the wine focused and fresh. It’s a beauty, but mostly potential at this point, although it does have beautiful fruit. Savvy readers will hide bottles at the back of their cellar, and I wouldn’t start to think about opening bottles for a least a decade. It’s going to be incredibly long-lived. The blend of the 2016 is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, brought up in 60% new French oak. Drinking range: 2029 - 2069Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Feb 2019)

This is so vivid as it brims with pastis-soaked plum, blackberry, black currant and blueberry paste flavors, all carried by a perfectly integrated brambly spine. Tar and ganache notes give the finish an extra kick while everything stays within the mouthwatering roasted apple wood frame. Both regal and rambunctious, this is St.-Julien to a T. 11,667 cases made. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 97 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Jan 2019)

The 2016 Leoville-Barton is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot picked from 29 September until 13 October, matured in 60% new oak and delivering 13% alcohol. It has a more intense bouquet compared to the Langoa-Barton, plenty of intense blackberry and raspberry fruit, minerals, cedar and a hint of licorice. The palate is a little chewy on the entry with good grip in the mouth. This demonstrates the backbone of the finish, just the right amount of spiciness with excellent salinity on the long finish. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime Leoville Barton, but (as usual) it just seems to do everything right. Maybe it's not quite up there with the stellar 2015 Léoville Barton, which I re-tasted at the time, but it is not far off. Drinking range: 2026 - 2055 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Apr 2017)

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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