|Grapes||Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Merlot|
|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc. Like so many this year, not giving much away on the nose. More graphite and serious buttoned-up blackness than actual fruit, so 'severe' comes to mind, but it's not harsh, easy to hold in the mouth even though tannins are obvious. Lots of coal-black depth. Impressive, very long-term. The black mineral sensation stays and stays. Drinking range: 2030 - 2060 Rating: 92-94 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Léoville Las Cases is the finest vintage I’ve ever tasted from this estate; in fact, in this reviewer’s opinion, this magical, perfect wine couldn’t be better. Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc aged 22 months in 90% new oak, it reveals a deep, saturated purple color as well as a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, iris flowers, graphite, crushed rocks, and freshly sharpened lead pencils. A perfect example of the old saying “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a deep, layered, stacked mid-palate, flawless integration of its acidity and tannins, and a monster finish. The balance and purity here are off the charts. Hide bottles for a decade or so and enjoy over the following half a century. Drinking range: 2029 - 2079 Rating: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Mar 2019)
This is really dense, yet remarkably polished and poised, delivering wave after wave of blueberry, açaí berry, raspberry and blackberry puree notes, all while warm tar and sweet tobacco details cruise underneath. There’s a long, smoldering cast iron note through the finish that adds both austerity and authority in a truly unique manner. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 98 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Jan 2019)
The 2016 Leoville-Las Cases comprises 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 19 October, during which the harvesters were out in the vines for 16 days. It is matured in 90% new oak and delivers 13.60% alcohol and an IPT of 82. It is initially tightly coiled on the nose and needed coaxing from the glass. There are scents of small black cherries, boysenberry, crushed violets and a slight flintiness that emerges with time. The definition is very impressive—you can almost pick the aromas out one by one. The palate is awe-inspiring. The tannins are so filigree, in fact not dissimilar to their neighbor across the border at Château Latour. That seam of graphite lends this Léoville Las-Cases a Pauillac-like personality, but ignoring stylistic similarities, it is the intensity, depth and arching structure that astounds, with detail on the finish that rivets your feet to the spot. Then the finish is ultra-precise, one of the most mineral-driven that I have encountered in almost 20 years visiting the estate, plus it is endowed with one the longest aftertastes you will find in 2016. Yeah, it's good. Drinking range: 2030 - Rating: 98-100 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Apr 2017)
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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