Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Futures Pre-sale) 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
James Suckling - "Amazing aromas of cep mushrooms, dark fruits and fresh flowers, follow through to a full body and super velvety tannins with a long long finish. Gorgeous structure to this. Sexy and almost decadent. Just like when I tasted it in Hong Kong. Try in 2019."
Wine Spectator - "This is gorgeously layered with cassis bush, anise, roasted fig and plum reduction notes all framed by racy espresso and graphite. Very deep and very long, with terrific intensity on the finish thanks to razor cut from the seemingly endless iron spine. With its purity and precision, this mineral-driven Cabernet should cruise for two decades. Best from 2020 through 2035."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.
Wine Enthusiast - "A beautifully structured wine, with its tannins layered between the ripest black plums, damsons and black currants. It is opulent while remaining dense, concentrated and very serious. Certainly a wine for long-term aging.
International Wine Cellar - "(76% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, and 9% cabernet franc; ph 3.65; IPT 70; 13.4% alcohol; 65% new oak) Purple ruby. Initially closed nose opens slowly with air to reveal blackcurrant, blueberry, tobacco and minerals. Then remarkably supple and pliant in the mouth, with extremely sweet red and black fruit flavors complicated by graphite, tobacco and minerals. The youthful, building tannins start silky-smooth, then become a bit aggressive on the long, complex finish. Compared to Latour, whose vineyards lie practically next door, this has a much softer texture and is very much Saint-Julien, though over time it may toughen up and shut down. This wine reminded me of the excellent '66, but despite such high praise, I'm not sure it's that much better than the excellent '08 made here. Las Cases's reputation is built on some of Bordeaux's finest cabernet sauvignon of all, but Delon told me that he felt it needed a touch more merlot than usual in the final blend this year. "While normally it can do with very little merlot, not this year," said Delon. "The merlot adds a touch of charm that is lovely."
Barrel Sample: 94-97 Points "
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.