Tasted blind. Deep crimson. Nicely knit, already developing bouquet. Savoury, quite marked acidity. Pretty austere finish. ‘Good session claret’, according to Matthew Hemming.
The 2015 La Reserve de Leoville Barton is a delicious, racy Saint-Julien to drink now and over the next handful of years. The natural radiance of the year comes through beautifully in this supple, caressing wine. Although not especially complex, the 2015 is flat-out delicious. This is a terrific showing for the second wine of Leoville Barton.
One of the great names in classically styled claret, Léoville Barton has been owned by the same family throughout its entire existence - an unheard of rarity in Bordeaux. Their roots can be traced back to 1826, when Hugh Barton bought 50 hectares of vines in the heart of St Julien and subsequently Château Leoville Barton was made a 2ème Cru Classe in the 1855 classification. Today, the Château is run by Anthony Barton’s daughter Lillian and her son Damien Barton-Sartorius. Unusual for the Médoc region, there is no château based on the property. As a result, the wines are vinified and aged at neighbouring Langoa Barton, which as its name suggests, is also owned by the Barton family.
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.