Something about Chateau Leoville Lascases
Château Léoville Las Cases is today among the most emblematic estates of the prestigious Saint-Julien appellation located on the Left Bank from the Bordeaux region. Its wines continue to reach the peaks of excellence and elegance vintage after vintage. Château Léoville Las Cases is recognized as one of the oldest estates in the Médoc with a heritage based on a long wine tradition. The lion statue that adorns the estate’s entrance gate makes its instantly recognisable as Château Léoville Las Cases.
As a Second Classified Growth of 1855, its excellence in quality earns the estate the title of “First of the Second Crus”. The Delon family took control of the estate at the end of the 19th century and it is now led by Jean-Hubert Delon. Château Léoville Las Cases has been a model for exceptional quality consistency since the 1970s.
The strength of this estate is its exceptional terroir. Château Léoville Las Cases has 55 hectares planted inside the renowned Clos de Léoville with a complex mosaic of terroirs. The Gironde River near the estate benefits the vineyards as a heat regulator. It helps to keep temperatures moderate and acts as a frost barrier. The vines grow in Günz gravel soils that is made up of a gravel-sandy subsoil on top of a deep layer of clay. This terroir is at the core of the estate’s exceptional wines that display the typicity of each of the symbolic Left Bank black varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
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Only 43% of the production made it into the final blend of this remarkable 2002. Produced from a low 17 hectoliters per hectare, it includes 66.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 13.9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It has the highest alcohol ever achieved in a Leoville Las Cases (13.5%) as well as a lofty pH of 3.85. Nevertheless, the impression is one of a structured wine with considerable density, a ruby/purple color, layers of flavor, and a classic overall personality. The wine exhibits pure black currant, licorice-infused fruit, huge body, a viscous mid-palate, and a long, heady finish. I suspect this wine won’t be nearly as charming as the 2003 in its youth, but it hasn’t yet closed down, and I am amazed at just how rich, intense, and full-bodied it tastes even after bottling. This is certainly one of the half dozen or so candidates for wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030+.
Tasted blind at Farr's 2002 Bordeaux tasting. A ripe blackberry nose with graphite, blueberry, wild hedgerow and a touch of leather. A sweet entry, a lot of extraction here with firm, solid, chewy tannins but well defined and clean. Real density and weight to this wine. Grippy…lacquers the palate with its fruit, one of the most persistent '02 Clarets but it certainly needs time. Tasted October 2009.
Drink 2012-22 Neat and medium weight and sweet and biscuity. Glossy. Pretty dry finish. Light and austere. I was more impressed by the second wine, Clos du Marquis, at this stage, but this will presumably overtake it eventually. A similar phenomenon to Léoville Barton's performance at present?