With one of the longest and most pedigreed histories in the Medoc region, Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases has passed through the hands of some of France’s most notable and wealthiest noble families, culminating in the Las Cases family - the final royal family to hold title to the Chateau. Up until the French Revolution, after which large portions of it were sold off, it was one of the largest vineyards in Bordeaux.
Today, the estate remains family owned by the Delons, of which brother Jean Hubert and sister Genevieve manage proceedings. Famed for producing a wine of structure, power, and traditional style, the 2016 vintage has earned outstandingly high praise, including a score of 100 from Andrew Caillared and a 19/20 from Jancis Robinson who praised its “extraordinary vitality and energy” and proclaimed it “glorious to taste now.”
93-95+/100 Robert Parker Jr. One of the thrilling successes of the vintage is, not surprisingly, the 2011 Leoville Las Cases. Analytically, this ripe wine has statistical numbers that are almost identical to their 2010. The fruit was cropped at 27 hectoliters per hectare, the wine aged in 80% new French oak, and the final blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc came in at 13.4% natural alcohol. It boasts an opaque inky/purple color along with gloriously pure aromas of creme de cassis, black raspberries, vanillin and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied with abundant glycerin and ripe but noticeable tannin, this beauty is potentially one of the longest lived and finest wines of the vintage. It should be drinkable in 5-6 years and last for 2-3 decades.
Small but mighty, the appellation of St.-Julien, on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has long enjoyed a reputation for exceptional quality and consistency. Compared to its neighbours in Bordeaux, St.-Julien produces the highest proportion of classified-growth wines, with more than three-quarters of the vineyards devoted to top-ranked producers. They include several “Super Second” chateaux and many other outstanding classified growths and Cru Bourgeois. Saint-Julien wines are beautifully balanced, with a great richness, depth of colour, and elegance. Cabernet Sauvignon prevails, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used for blending in the classic Bordeaux style.