Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Bordeaux 2016: Chateau Leoville Las Cases
We have always admired the classical wines from Leoville Las Cases. The exceptional 60 hectares Clos Leoville Las Cases, which dominates the northern tip of St Julien and abuts Chateau Latour provides the mainstay for the grand vin. The Cabernets from this superb terroir produce some of the purest and most profound expressions of these noble varieties. Las Cases is a wine for purists. It is uncompromising, reserved and intense – there’s nothing superficial or blousy – this is a cerebral and masculine wine in the very best of traditions.

The proximity to Chateau Latour is clearly reflected in the wine. This is a high brow, aristocratic style that very much feels like a First Growth. In fact, if you want a wine for future generations, a true vin de garde, there is probably no finer contender than the magnificent 2016 Leoville Las Cases. We don’t quote Matthew Jukes very often, but his ‘out of body’ experience and 20++ score is worthy of inclusion in this report. Neal Martin was emphatic, and awarded the wine a brilliant 98-100 points - his equal top score of the vintage.

‘Tasted with Pierre Graffeuille, commercial director. Very profound, very focussed and also amazingly exotic, there is a mind-bending amount of class here and it is so dense and so classy that it completely baffles the palate. The weightlessness and also intensity of the flavours are nothing short of amazing. The tannins are complete and not at all drying but they are incredible and they will arm this wine for a fifty-year life. The colour and turbidity is insane, too. Sitting here tasting this wine is a seriously unnerving out of body experience and I will make it my mission to taste (and drink) this wine as many times as I can for the rest of my life! This is a truly amazing Las Cases and it is a ‘classic’, at the same time as defining a new era of classicism in this commune. Phenomenal. 20++/20’. - Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog

‘The 2016 Leoville-Las Cases comprises 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 19 October, during which the harvesters were out in the vines for 16 days. It is matured in 90% new oak and delivers 13.60% alcohol and an IPT of 82. It is initially tightly coiled on the nose and needed coaxing from the glass. There are scents of small black cherries, boysenberry, crushed violets and a slight flintiness that emerges with time. The definition is very impressive—you can almost pick the aromas out one by one. The palate is awe-inspiring. The tannins are so filigree, in fact not dissimilar to their neighbor across the border at Château Latour. That seam of graphite lends this Léoville Las-Cases a Pauillac-like personality, but ignoring stylistic similarities, it is the intensity, depth and arching structure that astounds, with detail on the finish that rivets your feet to the spot. Then the finish is ultra-precise, one of the most mineral-driven that I have encountered in almost 20 years visiting the estate, plus it is endowed with one the longest aftertastes you will find in 2016. Yeah, it's good. Drink 2030 - 2070. 98-100/100’. - Neal Martin,

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