The grand vin originates from a single plot to the east of the D2 just south of Chateau Latour. The topography of this terroir is completely different to the plots used for Clos du Marquis and the estate go to some lengths to refer to Clos du Marquis as a separate wine, not a second wine, and with the introduction of the Petit Lion de Leoville Las Cases, the message is beginning to get through... Produced from 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, this is at first as one would expect from a barrel sample from this estate: impenetrable, big, tight knit and brooding. After aeration the deeply mineral bouquet unravels notes of cassis, graphite and brambly fruit. On the palate there is plenty of glycerol, lots of red berry fruits, huge levels of dry extract; a deep, concentrated wine with more sweet fruit and more accessible and friendly than one would normally expect from this noble terroir. Tannins have been expertly managed - they are large scale, but fine and speak of a wine that will age for decades to come. Outstanding.
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.