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.”
This is incredibly classic in style with so much currant, lead pencil, crushed stone and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with minerally, stoney and powerful tannins. It goes on and one. Real Las Cases here. Solid as a rock. Progresses to violet, graphite and licorice at the end.
(98-99) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, aging in 80% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.68%, a pH of 3.8 and an IPT (tannins index) of 79. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Merlot from the 12th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 18th and 19th of September. With an opaque purple-black color, it slowly unfurls to reveal beguiling notes of fresh blackcurrants, Morello cherries, candied violets and dark chocolate, giving way to an undercurrent of crushed rocks, unsmoked cigars, clove oil and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate is a powerhouse of energy, delivering tightly wound red and black fruits, mineral and floral layers, supported by fantastic tension and incredibly ripe, silt-like tannins. The finish has jaw-dropping fragrance and depth.
(96-98) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Léoville–Las Cases was picked September 12–29 and matured in 80% new oak with 13.68° alcohol. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in the driving seat on the nose, offering almost saturnine black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar, perhaps one of the most Pauillac-like bouquets that I have noticed on this wine out of barrel, which is no surprise considering its vines adjoin that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied, strict and linear at first, that Pauillac tincture the continuing theme thanks to conspicuous graphite/pencil lead notes interwoven into the black fruit. There is plenty of freshness here and impressive weight, yet no sense of heaviness toward the finish.
(96-98) points, Vinous (May 2021)
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases comes across as a super-classic Saint-Julien that combines mid-weight structure of previous decades, with the greater textural finesse that has become the norm here in recent years. A shy introvert, the 2020 Las Cases won’t impress with size or brawn as is often the case, but with a total sense of finesse. Readers with classically leaning palates will flip out over the 2020. I can't wait to watch it evolve, hopefully for many decades to come. It is certainly one of the standouts of the year at this point.
(95-98) points, Vinous (June 2021)
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot. Cask sample.
Very deep colour. Dense and reserved with an abundance of dark, ripe fruit. Tannins really very fine, providing length and persistence but no aggression. A measured wine with good concentration and a saline freshness but without the muscle seen some years. More St-Julien than Pauillac this year.
18 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
The flagship 2020 Château Léoville Las Cases checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot, raised in 80% new French oak. Hitting 13.68% in alcohol with a Ph of 3.8 and an IPT of 79, it shows the dense, concentrated, focused style of the vintage and it's going to be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Deep purple-hued, with an incredible sense of minerality in its blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, it's full-bodied, has a rich, layered mid-palate, lots of tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine and holds onto the more inward, concentrated style of the vintage while still showing serious depth of fruit. It's going to take a decade (or more) of bottle age to get anywhere close to the early stages of maturity but will keep for 30-40 years.
(95-97)+ points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
A subtle intensity where the power steals up on you through the palate - this is an excellent example of what Las Cases can deliver. Intellectual, concentrated and reined in for the foreseeable future. You get the full array of serious St-Julien character - pencil lead, cigar box, cassis bud, bilberry, earth and granite-edged tannins, this needs time. Very little press wine was used because this has such a plainly evident natural intensity. Needs time, but knowing how this estate is a slow burner even in generous vintages, you are going to need a lot of patience for this vintage to reach its drinking window. Impressive, not yet showing its heart. May be upscored once in bottle. This is 1% less than 2018 and 0.5% less than in 2019 in terms of alcohol. 3.65pH. A yield of 34hl/ha. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045
96 points, Decanter (May 2021)
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.