Purchased by the Cuvelier family in the 1920s, the estate’s long and storied history has involved the merging of estates, changing of hands, and a range of vineyard management techniques, some more successful than others. However, in the hands of Didier Cuvelier, a quick leap forward in quality took place around 1982. Changes in direction, including the addition of Michel Rolland and Emilie Peynaud to the production team, rapid modernization of winemaking facilities and a replanting of 20 hectares of vines, have yielded superb results.
The 2016 continues the Chateau’s modern upward trajectory with a raft of critical praise for this “powerful, vivid, and captivating” wine.
'The 2016 Léoville-Poyferré is fabulous. Rich, ample and dramatic in bearing, the 2016 possesses striking intensity and vertical lift. The tannins certainly need at least a few years in bottle to soften, but there is so much to look forward to. Graphite, menthol, lavender and licorice complement the inky blue/purplish fruit beautifully. The bottled wine has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon and less Merlot than the en primeur sample. I tasted the 2016 three times. It's least favorable showing was at the château. For readers and proprietors who think wines always taste better on site...they don't. 2026-2046'
97 Points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Léoville-Poyferré has a pH of 3.66 and an IPT level of 88. It seems to have tightened up since en primeur, now offering intense blackberry, bilberry and veins of blue fruit; there’s a little gloss here but the terroir comes through. The smooth, sensual palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, very well-judged acidity and great substance and style on the finish. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most sophisticated Poyferré in recent years. 13.6% alcohol. 2023-2048"
96 Points, Vinous
"Wow. The power and depth to this wine is super with a full and fleshy palate, yet so tight and integrated with panache and energy. Chewy tannins yet seamless and melted in the wine. Extremely long and beautiful. This needs at least five to six years to resolve the steely tannins that run through this wine. Take a look from 2024. A blend of 61 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 27 per cent merlot, eight per cent merlot and four per cent cabernet franc."
97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
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.