Our runaway winner in the left bank, this really should have been pitched against the first growths such is its ethereal beauty and breed. One of the rather mundane questions we ask each other between Chateaux visits to break the awkward silence is `so what has been the best wine so far?`, and Leoville Las Cases kept being mentioned with alarming frequency. Maybe we're being partisan, but Las Cases keeps getting our vote. A stunning bouquet of liquid minerals, graphite, crème de cassis, violets, liquorice and gravel. The attack is pure cassis fruit, then layer upon layer of sumptuous hedonistic fruit including wild strawberries and chocolate liqueur fruits. This is explosive yet poised; refreshing and taut. It possesses serious power and length of flavour, suave fruit, impeccable balance and laser like precision. It is simply a tour de force; an exquisite Las Cases!
"The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien." 98+/100 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #199
Following the death of the Marquis de Las Cases, the vast Leoville estate was split into three. The Marquis’ son Jean-Pierre took the third that is now Leoville Las Cases, the Marquis’ daughter, Jeanne’s share became what we know as Leoville Poyferre following her marriage to the Baron de Poyferre and the final third was auctioned off and purchased by Hugh Barton.
The great clos of Leoville Las Cases with its grand gates and stone lion is one of the most iconic images of the Medoc. This vast vineyard occupies the most favourable site in the northernmost corner of St Julien. The vineyard is separated from the Grand L'Enclos of Latour by a little ditch. If the 1855 Classification were to be rewritten today, Leoville Las Cases would certainly be a prime candidate for promotion.
Jean-Hubert Delon manages the estate producing wines of great stature and nobility. When Las Cases is on song, it is hard to find anything as enthralling; it is one of the great Cabernet based wines of the world. They have recently introduced a very impressive second wine, Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases. Clos de Marquis hails from plots to the west of the D2 which weren't part of the original Leoville estate. These vineyards are surrounded by three notable second growths: Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton and Pichon Lalande.
St-Julien may not have any first growths like its neighbour Pauillac but has a raft of high-performing Châteaux in its ranks, second through to fourth growths, Including Ducru-Beaucaillou, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville-Poyferré, Léoville-Barton.
Gruaud-Larose and Talbot. For many St-Julien is quintessential claret, robust, powerful but refined subtle and poised. Gravelly soils dominate, hence wide plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot.