A compelling beauty in 2010, this is one of our wines of the vintage. Despite being the most tannic year in Bordeaux, the 2010 could not be more strikingly feminine with its sleek, velvety palate and notable precision and poise. Its notes of succulent raspberry and cassis turn to incredible minerality and underlying power that goes on-on-on. Just seamless. Produced from 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. RK
The 2010 is a quintessentially elegant, classic wine of Bordeaux – firm, rigid, perhaps slightly lighter than most of the other St.-Juliens, but stylish, potentially complex, and reminiscent of the style of the 1986, but more concentrated and powerful. It is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc with a normal pH of 3.56. It was raised in 75% new oak and the alcohol came to 13.7%. This wine displays loads of black currants, cedar wood and vanillin, but needs a good 7-8 years of cellaring, if not much longer. It should last for 30+ years. What I like about tasting at Las Cases is that Jean-Hubert Delon opens one bottle in my presence, and has another already decanted four hours in advance to compare. It is nearly unanimous on each visit that the decanted wine shows better, which probably gives you some insight into the aging potential of Las Cases. It is certainly one of Bordeaux’s longest-lived wines, and seems to have more and more of a character resembling Lafite Rothschild more than its nearby neighbor, Chateau Latour.
As one would expect, this is a powerful, concentrated wine with 13.7% natural alcohol (compared to 2005's 13.2%). The pH is quite normal at 3.56, and its relatively high total acidity gives it a classic, fresh, yet backward style. Given how long vintages such as 1982, 1986, and I suspect, 2000 are taking to reach maturity, prospective purchasers of this wine should easily invest in a decade of cellaring, although I suspect it will be closer to 15 or more years before it reveals secondary nuances. A good 40- to 50-year wine, it is a dense purple, full-bodied style of Las Cases, with classic sweet kirsch, graphite and black currant fruit as well as hints of new saddle leather and subtle oak. Backward, layered and multi-dimensional, the wine is stunningly rich, but brooding. Forget it at least until 2020 or later.
The 2010 Léoville Las Cases has a clean and precise bouquet, beautifully focused with blackberry, melted tar, cigar humidor and crushed stone aromas. It gains intensity with aeration without ever losing its precision. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins, a fine bead of acidity, a sense of abiding symmetry and detail as it fans out on the mineral-driven finish. This is an absolutely awesome Saint-Julien with a long life ahead. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines Spirits 10-Year On tasting. o 2026-2060
The Leoville Las-Cases 2010 has a very elegant bouquet with earthy, tobacco infused black fruit, fine delineation and well-integrated oak. It is tight at first, but opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry. Very fine tannins, very elegant and harmonious with beautifully judged acidity leading to a classic finish that is totally seductive. Glorious.
Cropped at 36.7hl/ha, the Leoville Las-Cases is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, offering 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.56. It will be raised in 75% new oak. The nose is very intense with notes of blackberry, cassis, tobacco and a touch of black truffle, all very well defined and perhaps less generous, but more cerebral than the 2009. The palate is full-bodied with exceptionally silky smooth tannins, wonderful harmony and sense of beguiling composure and completeness. The finish is tannic, driven by the ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. I expect this Las-Cases to close down for a few years...it will need time to mellow and reach its drinking plateau. Drink 2025-
Excellent deep crimson. Very introvert and very dry. Super-sweet start and initially seems much rounder and less obdurate than usual. Though those dry tannins certainly creep up on you at the end! Some silkiness and glorying in the special ripeness of the Cabernet in this wine. Very dry end. Not that long funnily enough. A certain transparency that is not usually there. Drink 2020-2040
Stunning and pure from the get-go, with intense cassis and blackberry fruit. Ultimately takes a slightly austere approach, with a wrought-iron structure driving along while pastis, black tea, licorice snap and asphalt notes course underneath. Long and loaded with grip, this remains remarkably fine-grained. A very chiseled Cabernet that is wonderfully precise and incredibly long. Best from 2020 through 2040.
This has almost searing acidity running through it, but it's ripe and mouthwatering, harnessing a massive core of black currant and red licorice notes. Supertight but very fine-grained, this gets tighter, but also longer, as it moves along. This could age in reverse for a while, before it starts to unwind. A brick house. Tasted non-blind. -J.M.
This is very silky, with a racy and fresh character of violets, currants and raspberries. Full with a super texture. Racy structure. Reminds me of the 1996.
Stunning concentration of fruit, precision and purity, a great vineyard expression and a totally great wine in the most simple sense of the term. Drink 2025-50.
If ever another wine gets promoted to first growth category, Léoville Les Cases will undoubtedly bethe one. Owned by the Delon family, this château is comprised of 97 hectares of vineyards. However,unlike most of its Médoc neighbours, it only uses the vineyards classified in the original 1855 classification, an area called "Le Grand Enclos", to make its grand vin.
St Julien is like the middle child of the Médoc - not as assertive as Pauillac or as coquettish as Margaux. It lies firmly between the two more outspoken communes and as a result produces a blend of them both. St Julien's wines have often been sought out by aficionados for their balance and consistency, particularly in the UK. Yet due to its middle child nature, it can occasionally be overlooked globally and as a result underrated by those markets outside the UK. Despite the fact that it has no first growths, it has several second growths including Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré and Ducru Beaucaillou as well as the celebrated châteaux such as Talbot and Beychevelle.