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 2020 Léoville-Poyferré is a powerful, structured wine. In recent vintages, Léoville-Poyferré has been more opulent, but the 2020 shows off a towering, vertical build framed by a soaring spine of tannin. Dark red cherry, pomegranate, cedar and spicebox emerge with a bit of coaxing. Ultimately, though, Léoville-Poyferré is less showy than most Saint-Juliens at this stage. I don't expect that will be much of an issue in time. In a word: magnificent. Tasted three times.
(95-97) points, Vinous (June 2021)
Impressive purity of fruit on the nose with crushed raspberries, blackcurrants and blackberries. Some lead pencil, too. It’s full-bodied with very polished, intense tannins that go on for minutes. The quality and precision of the tannins are impressive, giving the wine form, energy and equilibrium.
(96-97) points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2021)
Deep purple-black colored, the 2020 Léoville Poyferré comes bounding out of the glass like an energetic young pup, delivering exuberant scents of crushed black cherries, juicy blackberries and warm cassis, with hints of ground cloves, dark chocolate, lilacs and tilled soil. The medium to full-bodied palate is wonderfully plush, delivering bags of ripe black fruits with a seamless backbone of acidity, finishing long and spicy.
(95-97) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Léoville Poyferré builds on the success of recent vintages, offering intense yet exquisitely defined black cherries, wild strawberry, cassis and crushed stone aromas. It is high-toned as usual but not quite as hedonistic as the recently tasted 2018. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that belie the backbone of this Saint-Julien. Slightly lactic in texture toward the spicy finish; the oak will be assimilated by the time of bottling, leaving a very suave and sophisticated wine that will give 30–40 years of drinking pleasure. Easily one of the classiest offerings from this Saint-Julien in recent years.
(95-97) points, Vinous (May 2021)
Full bottle 1,345 g. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Plot-by-plot fermentation and ageing for 18 to 20 months (still in train, as the notes explain). Here they admit they don't do the final assemblage until June.
Dark crimson. Relatively voluptuous nose. Flattering initially but then with quite a charge of inky tannins underneath. Needs time. Notably dry on the finish but with good density. Rather more obviously dry and less flashy than some vintages. Very much made for the long term with a juicy, spicy undertow. Extremely youthful. Unusually, it seems drier than Léoville Barton. 13.7%
17.5+ points, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
Rich and concentrated with violet reflections and a wall of tannins. Well structured, it sets its feet deep in the ground and will need time to soften and develop. Good quality with depth. The tannins are far more present than the alcohol, setting it apart from the 2018. A yield of 35hl/ha. Harvest september 14 to 30. Planted blend (not 2020) 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Drinking Window 2028 - 2042
96 points, Decanter (May 2021)
Cut from the same cloth as the 2016 with its focused, pure, yet concentrated style, the 2020 Château Léoville Poyferré reveals a dense purple color as well as ultra-classic notes of crème de cassis, graphite, toasted spice, and unsmoked tobacco. Rich and medium to full-bodied, it has brilliant mid-palate depth and ripe, velvety tannins, all making for a beautiful Saint-Julien that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and shine for 30-40 years or more. Tasted three times.
(95-97)+ points, JebDunnuck.com (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.