The best Saint Julien wine and of 1. Growth's quality

Leoville Las Cases

  

2017 10

Garden/backyard of Leoville Las Cases - April 2017

Leoville Las Cases offices and cellars you will find on the left side of "Route des Chateaux" after you pass the village of St.Julien on your way to Pauillac. In the same complex of the buildings but on the right you see the offices of Leoville Poyferre. Longer down the road on the right, there's a big sign over the big wall with Leoville Las Cases "written" on it. Behind this wall, you have the vineyard of Leoville Las Cases.

Leoville Las Cases has 98 ha big vineyard, planted with 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot,  9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The soil here is mainly gravel and gravel mixed with sand on the bed of clay/sandy clay. Due to nearby Gironde river, frost is a very rare guest here. This extremely advantageous location creates an excellent microclimate.

Leoville Las Cases is a powerful and tight wine with truly remarkable structure, complexity and length. It often gives 1. Growths in Bordeaux run for their money. For me, it's more characteristics of the neighbouring commune of Pauillac than of St.Julien. In 2015 and 2016 vintages LLC has really shown what is capable of!!

LLC vintages 1989, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2012 came directly from LLC cellars for the tasting in September 2017 together with Clos de Marquis 1995, 2005 and 2009, 2. vin til CdM, Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases 2009, Nenin 2007 and 2010, plus Potensac 2007.

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2018 Leoville Las Cases (barrel sample) 99p

Tasted in April 2019. This wine appeared very concentrated and intense, full of black cherry fruit, sleek, silky fruit and tannin, very sophisticated and utterly complex. Perfect balance. This wine wasn't surprisingly a kind of bulldozer, merely an athletic man moving like a ballerina. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. 14.5 alcohol.

2017 Leoville Las Cases (barrel sample) 98+p

Tasted in April 2018. This wine was elegant and refined, with great complexity and structure, rich, very long on the palate, great depth and with very long persistent finish. Impressive effort for the vintage.

2016 Leoville Las Cases (barrel sample) 98+p

Tasted in April 2017. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. Twin brother of 2015 vintage, but more distinguished and with more elegance. Bull's eye once again!

2015 Leoville Las Cases 98-99p

Tasted twice - last time in April 2018. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. Monster wine here, a fabulous nose of dark berries, extremely concentrated, deep and long on the palate, remarkable acidity, sophisticated and with a mega, mega long finish. Bull's eye!

2014 Leoville Las Cases 95-96p

Tasted in April 2017. Very impressive for the vintage, powerful and strong, precise, great complexity and richness, sublime finish.

2012 Leoville Las Cases 94p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. Great black fruit aroma on the nose and polished tasty fruit on the palate. Very accessible right now /September 2017). Precise and focused, great complexity and richness, sublime finish. Perfect restaurant wine. It'll keep for a long time.

2004 Leoville Las Cases 94p

Tasted in September 2017. Aromatic and very complex, excellent structure and very long finish. Splendid balance. Very stylish wine. A keeper.

2003 Leoville Las Cases 94p

Tasted in September 2017. I rate this wine higher than in 2001. There's no sign of heated fruit here despite excessively high temperatures (well over 40 degrees C in the month and August). The yield was half of the normal for the property. Quite intense with well-integrated fruit and tannin, a fine sweetness of fruit and splendid complexity. Long aftertaste. At its peak now.

2001 Leoville Las Cases 93p

Tasted in September 2017. Imho, this wine can't challenge one year younger brother. Quite developed, a bit tight and tannic, some cigar tones, earthy flavours, fine acidity and long firm finish. Could have had some more fruit sweetness.

2000 Leoville Las Cases 98p

Tasted twice - last time in September 2017. Consistent notes. It's been 14 years between my two TNs on this wine and to say it frankly - it hasn't changed that much!! In April 2003, I asked myself, if this wine could match  Bordeaux' First Growth. It almost did! With such richness of nuances, concentration, depth and length, this wine could conquer the whole world. A masterpiece for 30-40 years lay in the cellar. Jean-Hubert Delon continues in the most exemplary way his father's eminent wine-work. Then in September 2017, it still was young as ever, a blockbuster wine with tons of ripe fruit and ripe tannin. This wine can keep forever!!

1996 Leoville Las Cases 96p

Tasted in September 2017. A true classic wine for the property. Powerful with excellent length, structure, great complexity and firm fruity finish. A showcase of C.Sauvignon. Very stylish wine.

1989 Leoville Las Cases 93p

Tasted in September 2017. Well preserved wine, strong with the apparent sweetness of fruit, well-balanced, long on the palate with a firm finish. Perfect to drink now and in the next 10 years.

1985 Leoville Las Cases 93p 

Tasted in November 2015. Strong and powerful, fine acidity, truffles, fine-grained tannin, great balance, depth and finish. Despite 30 years on its birth certificate, this wine was fresh as ever and had at least 10-15 more years to go.

1971 Leoville Las Cases 94-95p 

Tasted in October 2019. Toffee nose, a little bit chemical to begin with and acidity much forward, long on the palate, detailed, great complexity, lot of nuances, rich. After 15 minutes in the glass, it did gain more freshness and length. Formidable wine.

 

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My top ten wines tasted in 2019

1. Lafite Rothschild 2016                                  100p

2. Cheval Blanc 2000                                         100p

3. Cheval Blanc 2009                                          99p

4. Lafleur 2016                                                   99p

5. Lafleur 2015                                                   98p

6. Pichon Baron 2010                                          98p

7. Pichon Comtesse 2017                                    97p

8. Beychevelle 1949                                            97p

9. Leoville Barton 2016                                       96p

10. Les Carmes Haut Brion 1953                         96p