Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1994
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
The largest vineyard plot of Léoville-Las Cases known as the Grand Clos, are located in the norther portion of the St-Julien with only the Juillac tributary separating its vineyards from those of Latour. 97 Hectares are planted to 65 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The vineyard underwent major replanting during the 1950s after the frost. Today the vines average 30 years of age. Grapes are harvested by hand, crushed and then may be fermented in temperature controlled wood, concrete, or stainless steel vats of varying size depending on the style of the vintage. Starting in 1987, Léoville-Las Cases began employing a state of the art, reverse osmosis machine to help extract excess water from the grape must. Use of this technique is considered controversial by some people. However today, that technology is by many of the top Bordeaux Chateaux. People questioning the technologies effect of wine need only to taste 1990, 1996, 2000 and other top years. Those are all better vintages for Leoville Las Cases, than previous famous years like 1982. According to Delon, reverse osmosis is only used in select vintages. Leoville Las Cases produces a structured style of Bordeaux wine. In the top vintages, buyers should be aware that these years of Leoville Las Cases take 15-20 or more years to develop and shed their tannic structure. At that point in time, the Bordeaux will wine display cedar, cassis, dark berries, truffle and tobacco notes in a style that often resembles a First Growth Pauillac.
The Wine Advocate - "Michel Delon, a great man, is the consummate proprietor, meticulously administering this vast estate spread out along the St.-Julien/Pauillac border, separated from Latour's finest vineyard by a mere ten feet. The 1993-95 vintages from Delon are brilliant wines. Leoville-Las-Cases remains one of the irrefutable reference points for high class Bordeaux. One of the more massive Medocs of the vintage, this opaque purple-colored wine exhibits fabulous richness and volume in the mouth. Layers of pure black-cherry and cassis fruit are intermixed with stony, mineral-like scents, as well as high quality toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, with a sweet, rich entry, this wine possesses plenty of tannin, yet fabulous extract and length. Leoville-Las-Cases is one of the half-dozen great wines of the Medoc in 1994. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025. This lion never falls asleep on the job!"
Chateau Leoville Las Cases Winery
Chateau Leoville Las Cases is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Medoc region of France. Originally the other two Leovilles, Leoville Poyferre and Leoville Barton were part of the large estate. Today Leoville Las Cases comprises over 209 acres and has been run since 1950 by the Delon Family. Currently, the estate is run by the well-known Michel Delon.
The estate stretches from Chateau Beychevelle down to Chateau Latour, and the main estate is a picturesque, enclosed 100 acre vineyard depicted on the label. The winery is established as a Second Growth. vineyard. View all Chateau Leoville Las Cases Wines
About St-JulienView a map of St-Julien wineries (saint juhl-e-EHN)
The smallest of the top four Haut-Médoc communes, St-Julien is directly south of Pauillac. With no first growths to its name, the commune often goes overlooked. But it has 11 excellent second, third and fourth growths, and the highest proportion of classified growths of the top four. It doesn't have the concentration and powerful punch of a Pauillac or the soft elegance of a Margaux, but the wine of St-Julien combines the best of its northern & southern neighbors.
Notable FactsA good descriptor of St-Julien wines is balance. Cabernet Sauvignon-based like all left bankers, St-Julien also adds a bit of Merlot for softness. The best known chateaux are the Léovilles – Léoville-Barton, Léoville-Las Cases, Léoville Poyferre - although Barton and Las Cases are more common and more recognizable to consumers. All three are second growths and top notch for their class. The other well known chateaux are Chateau Gruaud-Larosse & Lagrange, a second growth and fourth growth, known for reliable quality.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.