On three separate occasions, Leoville-Barton's 1996 proved to be spectacular, not surprising in view of the fact that this effort is from a chateau that has produced nothing less than top-flight wines for more than a decade. The 1996 possesses explosive richness, undoubtedly from a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the final blend. The color is a dense, opaque purple/black. The wine gives up sweet cassis fruit, with pain grillee notes. The attack is fabulous, with layers of structured, super-concentrated, sweet fruit making a massive impression. This is a powerful, full-bodied, layered, multi-dimensional wine that will require patience. The 1996 will need 12-15 years to reach full maturity, yet it will last for more than three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
An enormous, masculine, backward wine, Leoville-Barton's 1996 exhibits an opaque black/purple color, and sweet, earthy, prune, and blackcurrant aromas intertwined with scents of licorice and Asian spices. Enormous and full-bodied, with a sweet mid-palate and mouthsearing tannin in the finish, this exceptionally dense, powerful, layered wine will require significant patience. Its explosive power and richness may push this wine's ultimate rating into the mid-nineties. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2040.
This impressive wine is a classic. Although backward, it exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to abundant black currant fruit intertwined with spicy oak and truffle-like scents. The wine is brilliantly made, full-bodied, and tightly-structured with plenty of muscle and outstanding concentration and purity. It should turn out to be a long-lived Leoville Barton, and somewhat of a sleeper. However, patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030.
The 1996 Leoville Barton appears more youthful than the 1996 Langoa Barton in the glass with a healthy deep garnet core. The aromatics unfurl gracefully in the glass revealing briary, wild hedgerow, black truffle and sandalwood scents -- firmly in secondary aroma stage but with appreciable presence and intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin that form its firm and classic structure, spice, white pepper and cloves infusing the slightly animally red berry fruit. This is an adorable Léoville Barton that is occupying a very "happy" place at the moment -- superb precision, old school claret at its best. Decant for an hour no more, then enjoy. Drink 2016-2035. 93/100
Good colour. Full, rich, concentrated nose.Splendid depth here. Gently oaky. Rich,fullish and intense at the end. Very classy.Very fine. Drink 2006-2020+
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. 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.