Tasted twice with consistent notes, the 2011 Leoville Poyferre is one of the most seductive and polished wines of the vintage. Didier Cuvelier explained that 'because of a poor veraison, some berries didn't ripen and remained small and pink. These were eliminated from the wine by the estate's optical sorting table'. 2011 is 'a year when the wine grower's work and the selection processes make all the difference'. On the evidence of our tastings, Didier and his team got it spot on. Liquid minerals, flowers and hints of dark chocolate liqueurs. On the palate there is great density and a mass of perfumed purple fruit. Bright, yet deep, complex, gourmand, very suave and sexy, but there is structure here too. Another exceptional Poyferre to add to the long list. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc; 13.7% alc with IPT Polyphenols of 94.
The vineyards at Leoville Poyferre originally formed part of the great Leoville estate. Following the death of Marquis de la Cases, the vast property 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.
Today Didier Cuvelier holds the reigns. He has been responsible for the property’s renaissance, investing heavily to modernise the chai and replanting much of the estate’s Merlot plantings with his favoured Cabernet Sauvignon. Didier can come across rather unassuming, however, unlike other hosts who like impress themselves on tasters, this just isn’t his style. Once you start to engage Didier about his wines there no-one more passionate in Bordeaux.
Of all the Leoville estates, Poyferre produces the most perfumed and most exotic. There is a lushness and seductiveness to all Didier’s wines. Moulin Riche is produced from a separate plot of vines near to the Pauillac border.
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.