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CLOS DU MARQUIS

2016 Saint Julien

Grapes Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
ABV 13.6%

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Not that deep in colour, the nose is brightly scented with ripe raspberry, and the palate takes this on with more depth of black fruit and graphite. Medium intensity, very pure, stays quite supple despite tannin build-up on the finish. The excellent length bodes well for the future. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2017)


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From the considerable talents of the Léoville Las Cases team, the 2016 Clos du Marquis is made from 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that was raised in 60% new French oak. This full-bodied, concentrated, incredibly elegant Saint Julien has the purity and balance that’s the hallmark of the vintage as well as loads of underlying structure and depth. Great notes of ripe black cherries, blackcurrants, spring flowers, and graphite all emerge from this beauty, which is going to be one for the ages. It will need 8-10 years of cellaring and keep for three decades. Drinking range: 2027 - 2057 Rating: 95 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)

The 2016 Clos du Marquis was picked from 30 September to 19 October and consists of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, matured in 55% new oak. Yields came in at 40 hectoliters per hectare and the alcohol at 13.55%. The bouquet is very intense at the moment with small black cherries, incense, iris and a touch of shucked oyster shells. The palate is beautiful, perhaps one of the most powerful that I came across in Saint Julien, certainly no shy retiring flower, yet it effortlessly manages to retain the precision and tension one expects from this cru. There is a firm back bone here, but the tannins are so precise that you barely notice, while the aftertaste has superb salinity. This is a majestic Clos du Marquis, but it will require several years in the cellar. Drinking range: 2025 - 2055 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. 55% new oak. Exotically rich on the nose! I would never have believed I could encounter such richness at this address. Some real life here. Racy and rich and lots of black fruit. Richness but some structure too. Racy. Drinking range: 2023 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.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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