Only 34% of the estate's production found its way into the grand vin this year. With 76% Cabernet Sauvignon it is no surprise that the profile of this great wine is very serious indeed. Dense, powerful and extremely tightly knit. It is of First Growth quality and clearly a candidate for the wine of the vintage. James Suckling finds it reminiscent of the stunning 1996, possibly better. Drink 2013-2028
Performing better from bottle than it did from cask, this blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc has put on weight over the last year. It exhibits the classic style of both Las Cases and St.-Julien in its deep black currant notes interwoven with sweet cherries, wet stones, and toasty vanillin. Made in a structured, medium to full-bodied style with superb concentration, beautiful purity, and admirable symmetry, this beauty is one of the strongest efforts of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028.
Jean-Hubert Delon has produced an elegant, tannic 2004 that may lack the prodigious depth and texture of Las Cases's finest vintages, but remains quintessentially pure as well as verySt.-Julien. Only 34% of the production made it into the final blend (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc). Rigid and tight, with a deep ruby/purple-tinged color, and a sweet nose of black cherries, currants, minerals, and subtle background oak, this medium-bodied 2004 is built along the lines of the 1999. As always, it is a wine of considerable distinction, subtlety, grace, and class. The harvest at Las Cases was relatively late, with all the fruit brought in between October 4 - 17. Proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon believes the 2004 Leoville Las-Cases, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, represents a lighter version of the 1996 and 1986 Las Cases. While an outstanding effort, it does not possess the breadth or depth of flavor found in the two aforementioned vintages. A classic bouquet of black cherries, cassis, crushed rocks, flowers, vanilla, and background oak emerges from this dense ruby/purple-tinged 2004. Medium-bodied with moderately high tannin and crisp acidity in the strong finish. Drink 2010-2020
Dark crimson. Lively topnotes of a confident wine with a seriously long term future ahead of it. Very concentrated but some almost sweet, treacly fruit on the front palate and then very fine tannins. Lots built in there but well integrated. Dry tannins but very fine. Not exaggerated. A good difference in drinking dates between this and the second wine Clos du Marquis but not of style. Very bright fruit. Real life. Good for the year. Needs lots of time. Drink 2017-2030
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.