Small piece of Bordeaux trivia - Chateau Leoville-Barton has no chateau to speak of! In fact, all wines are made at its sister property, Chateau Langoa Barton, which is the storybook chateau pictured on the label.
Once part of a much larger estate - in fact the largest in St Julien - Chateau Leoville-Barton has been under the ownership of the Barton family since 1722. In their hands, traditional winemaking techniques remain integral to production - certainly more so than many other modern Bordeaux estates.
Leoville-Barton Bordeaux is famous for its traditional, beefy, and strapping style with an excellent reputation for ageing, making them particularly attractive additions to any wine cellar.
Deep colour. Lovely blackcurrant, creme de cassis aromas with praline notes and inky complexity. Velvety textured wine with fresh saturated pure blackcurrant pastille fruits, fine supple melting tannins and integrated espresso, roasted coffee oak. The finish is chalky firm with beautiful mineral length. Always a bellwether wine and it delivers. Tasted at the Union des Grand Crus.
The 2016 Léoville-Barton is superb. Precision, nuance and delineation are the signatures in a wine that speaks to class above all else. Eloquent and nuanced to the core, the 2016 is simply magnificent. There is a fair bit of tannin, but the grain is very, very fine. The 2016 is not a huge Léoville-Barton, but it is a wine of nobility and pedigree. Tasted two times.
The 2016 Leoville-Barton is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot picked from 29 September until 13 October, matured in 60% new oak and delivering 13% alcohol. It has a more intense bouquet compared to the Langoa-Barton, plenty of intense blackberry and raspberry fruit, minerals, cedar and a hint of licorice. The palate is a little chewy on the entry with good grip in the mouth. This demonstrates the backbone of the finish, just the right amount of spiciness with excellent salinity on the long finish. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime Leoville Barton, but (as usual) it just seems to do everything right. Maybe it's not quite up there with the stellar 2015 Léoville Barton, which I re-tasted at the time, but it is not far off.
Tight and chewy with a solid tannin structure and depth of fruit. Full body and lots of depth and texture. A Barton with lots happening already. Develops beautifully on the palate. Should be better than the 2015.
Dark blackish purple. Less obviously aromatic than Langoa. Tea-leaf notes. Round texture with gloriously ripe tannins. Really a standout Barton. So unusually supple! Yet with masses of tannins underneath. This will surely be one of the vintage's longer-living wines. Glorious texture and flavour. Utterly minerally dry, but not drying. Very good freshness – much fresher than many of its peers. Real energy.
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.