We are generally huge fans of Didier Cuvelier and his team at Leoville Poyferre. This exceptional terroir and the exuberant style of winemaking have produced a string of excellent wines. The 2014 was a bit divisive… It possesses a gorgeous glossy, perfumed, Poyferreesque bouquet of cool crème de cassis fruit and minerals. There is a huge amount of extract here - it is a positively chewy wine, thick with dark fruits, Valrhona chocolate and coffee beans. We have a bit of a question mark over the tannins at this stage. It is a large-scale effort with huge tannins which are very dry and mouth puckering. It certainly doesn't possess the sexy, fruity finish we have come to know and love, so at this stage we will reserve judgement. It could be a wine of enormous potential, but it will require patience... Harvested between the 1st and 14th of October. Cropped at 36hl/ha from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. * It is worth noting that we tasted at the St Julien UGC at the end of a very long day. We felt that the samples were not necessarily representative. Our notes are an honest account of what we tasted, however, we are sure that the wines are much better than our notes suggest.
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.