Las Cases' 2006 is noteworthy: dark, powerful and full-bodied with a dense, chewy mouthfeel and velvety tannins. Its impressive core of dark berry fruit and cedary, savoury oak carries it well into its long, silky finish. Wine Spectator compares it to their glorious 1996. A powerful and impressive 2006.
Not surprisingly, Leoville Las Cases has produced another classic, potentially long-lived wine in 2006. Among the St.-Juliens, it, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Leoville Barton possess the potential for the greatest longevity. Interestingly, when I visited this chateau in January, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon offered me two samples, one where the cork had been pulled immediately prior to tasting, and another that had been decanted four hours earlier. Both were superb, but the wine that had had extended aeration was clearly the finer offering. The opaque purple-hued 2006- only 40% of the crop made it into the final blend- exhibits a personality that mimics the superb 1996. Classic aromas of sweet black raspberries, kirsch, cassis, and subtle toasty oak are followed by a full-bodied, concentrated wine displaying moderately high tannin. This cuvee can often resemble a Pauillac wrapped in the St.-Julien appellation, and the 2006 is no exception. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, it will require significant cellaring before consumption. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2035+.
Perfectionist owner Jean-Hubert Delon believes the 2006 Leoville Las Cases recalls the greatness of the 1986 and 1996. The natural alcohol came in at 13.3%, and only 40% of the production made it into the final blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and a dollop of Cabernet Franc. This backward, deep ruby/purple-hued effort exhibits sweet, pure black cherry, raspberry, and cassis characteristics, soft, ripe tannin, and medium body. It reveals a strong similarity to its next door neighbor, Chateau Latour. The 2006 Las Cases will require 5-8 years of bottle age, and should drink well for 25-30 years. Drink 2012-2037
The 2006 Château Léoville Las-Cases has a very complex bouquet with heady scents of blackcurrant, kirsch, crushed violets, rock salt and just a hint of cassis. It is backward and can barely contain its energy. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very symmetrical and poised, a fine line of acidity interwoven through the black fruit, touches of citrus fruit developing towards the poised and tensile finish. This is a beautiful wine from Jean-Hubert Delon, but it needs several years in bottle. Drink 2023-2045
If somebody opined that this is the best wine of 2006, then I might not disagree. Jean-Hubert Delon has done wonders with a difficult vintage and produced a sublime wine that has the potential to surpass the 2005…it is that good. A deep purple, opaque core. The nose is stunning: sensuous cedary black fruits, crushed violets, and a hint of peppermint. Utterly seductive. The palate does not disappoint: beautifully balanced with perfect acidity, elegant sumptuous and vivacious. Certainly one of the best Las-Cases I have tasted at this stage, a Saint Julien to aspire to this year.
Like the other wines from this stable such as second wine Clos du Marquis, this was blended early and put into barrel a month earlier than usual. They are aware that the earlier start to élevage has had a (beneficial) effect on how the wine tastes at this stage, giving it greater smoothness. A little stronger than 2005 at 13.5%. The glass already feels weightier than Clos du Marquis! Very deep purple right out to rim. Big, big difference between this and Clos du Marquis on the nose completely different. Rather opulent even. Rich and very fine and intense and certainly pulling out all the stops! There's finesse here. EvenLas Cases is not trying to be big and tough this year. Trying for suppleness and fully ripe fruit. Very lively and fine tannins. Amazing nose even though not that much alcohol. Very neat long finish.
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.