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2017 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Grapes Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

The 2017 Léoville Poyferré was cropped at around 50hl/ha between 20 September and 6 October at 44hl/ha. It has a gorgeous bouquet that is very pure with scents of black cherry, cassis, cedar and a touch of graphite, all very focused and neatly entwined with the 85% new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, crisp and focused, very harmonious with a touch of cedar and black pepper towards the finish. I appreciate the combination of weight and finesse here, a really quite enthralling valedictory Léoville Poyferré who is due to retire this coming July. Bon vin. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

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Didier Cuvelier's cousin (and LP co-owner) Sarah Lecompte-Cuvelier is taking the helm when he retires in May 2018. 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. IPT 77, pH 3.79. Very dark crimson with black core. Gorgeous cassis intensity and purity on the nose and just a hint of oak sweetness and spice. Firm but really supple tannins, compact and deep but with a lightness of touch to let the fruit flow first. Mouth-watering and super-fresh. Long. (JH) 13.2%. Drinking range: 2027 - 2042 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, 2018)

Yields in 2017 were 44.34 hectoliters per hectare. The 2017 Léoville Poyferré is very deep purple-black in color with super intense notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and Sichuan pepper with hints of lavender, baking spices and wood smoke. The palate is medium-bodied, firm and grainy with restrained, understated fruit and a long, mineral-laced finish. Rating: 93-95 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 2018)

This has lower alcohol than usual, but doesn't sacrifice the mouthfeel. There's a succulent damson and cappuccino expression through the finish here, along with tautly constructed, bouncy tannins that are both expressive and powerful. It's one of the more rich and round wines in St-Juliens, as fits the house style. Extremely accomplished, it's powerful and will clearly age well. It's somewhere between 2014 and 2015 in quality, but not touching the majestic 2016. A success in the vintage, underlining again that St-Julien has had an extremely lucky 2017. Drinking range: 2026 - 2038 Rating: 95 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)

Château Léoville-Poyferré has been on a roll for over a decade now, and they’ve produced a terrific, fruit-forward, pleasure-bent 2017 that readers should snatch up. A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it was harvested between September 20th and October 6th, and is aging in 80% new French oak. Awesome crème de cassis, violets, spice box, and crushed rock-like minerality all emerge from this dense, medium to full-bodied, sexy 2017 that has sweet tannin and an expansive, opulent texture. I love the depth of fruit, and where too many wines in the vintage can be straight and a touch charmless, this beauty dishes out tons of pleasure! Don’t miss it. Rating: 93-95 Jeb Dunnuck, 2018)

Very tight and energetic finish to this young, new red with currant and blackberry character. Hints of crushed stones. Dense and four-square with a chewy tannin structure and a long finish. Very muscular. Serious encore to the 2016. Same level? Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, 2018)

Warm, displaying a slightly rounded feel for the vintage, this sports plum, cassis and blackberry compote flavors. A mouthwatering anise edge shows on the polished finish, with a well-buried graphite spine. Rating: 92-95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2018)

Didier Cuvelier was grateful for his vines having escaped the frost in the 2017 vintage. After a benevolent growing season he delayed picking only a day or two longer than his peers, starting with the Merlot harvest on September 20th, finishing on September 26th. Then, as was commonplace in this vintage (although rare in most years), the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest began without a break, running from the 26th until October 3rd. The Petit Verdot was picked on the 28th and the 30th, while the Cabernet Franc came in last of all, on the 3rd. Even with this ‘delay’, this was still the earliest harvest here since 2011. The blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, while the alcohol is 13.2%, total acidity 3.3 g/l and the IPT 77. It has a really focused style on the nose, with a lifted, chalky, limestone perfume, over lightly desiccated blackcurrant and black cherry fruit. The palate shows a quite charming texture, broad, supple at its heart, but with a nicely defined grip to it, and a frame which keeps the wine upright and vigorous through to the end of the palate. The finish is confident, with a flourish of chalky tannin, and the whole being seems complete and composed. Overall very elegant, charming, with a creamy concentration. I love the understated tannic backbone it possesses. 93-95/100 Rating: 93-95 Chris Kissack, 2018)

Château Léoville Poyferré

St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 When Baron Jean-Marie de Poyferré de Cères married the grand-daughter of the Marquis de Las-Cases-Beauvoir, he inherited a portion of the grand old Leoville estate. The Poyferré family owned the estate for long enough to see the granting of Second Growth status in common with the other Leovilles but, in time, oidium and financial difficulties led them to sell Leoville Poyferré. Eventually, it came in to the ownership of the Cuvelier family who own Poyferré to this day. For most of the 20th Century, compared to its namesake neighbours, Leoville Poyferré's fortunes waned as the quality of the wines fell back. Since 1980, however, considerable improvements have been made to the chais and the vineyards. The previously high proportion of Merlot has reduced, whilst the amount of Cabernet Sauvignon has risen to about 65% (Merlot is now a more Médoc-like 25%). Today, Leoville Poyferré can be seen on an equal footing with, at least, Leoville Barton. Grapes are fermented in stainless-steel, and then spend 18 to 20 months in oak (75% new). In the early years on the 20th Century, the cru bourgeois property of Château Moulin Riche was absorbed into Leoville Poyferré. The name was briefly resurrected as the name of Poyferré's second wine, although it is now produced as a wine in its own right from the vineyards of the old château. A second wine of both properties is Pavillon de Poyferré.

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