I have had perfect bottles of this cuvee, but, perplexingly, the bottles from my cellar tend to be broodingly backward and require plenty of coaxing. This huge wine is, in many ways, just as massive as Leoville Barton, but it possesses a greater degree of elegance as well as unreal concentration. Classic lead pencil, cassis, kirsch, cedar, and spice characteristics are abundant in both the nose and full-bodied flavors. The tannins are still there, and, at least from my cellar, this 1982 does not appear to have changed much in the last 10-12 years. One wonders how much patience admirers of this brilliant St.-Julien will continue to exhibit. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050. Release price: ($160.00/case)
Tasted three times over a two month period, this youthful yet profoundly complex wine gets my nod as the finest Leoville-Las-Cases ever made. It reveals massive proportions yet extraordinary purity, elegance, and balance. This dense ruby/purple-colored 1982 still looks and tastes as if it were 5-8 years old. The nose offers up blazingly well-delineated, pure aromas of creme de cassis, cherry jam, minerals, and toasty new oak. This unctuously-textured, gorgeously rich, pure, super-concentrated, low acid effort concludes with a 45+ second finish. There is still tannin to shed in this unbelievably fresh, lively, full-bodied, vibrant wine. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035.
The initial impression on the nose of this impenetrably dark wine is of chunky, chocolatey, almost caricature concentration. On the palate it is still painfully dry and obdurate. Will this wine ever give pleasure? Drink 2010-2025
Good colour. Now a hint of maturity. Rich, round and accessible on the nose. Fullishbody. Ripe and juicy. Just a little rigid. The wine is better made today but this is stillvery good indeed.
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.