Chateau Leoville Las Cases (scuffed labels) 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
Number 6 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007!
The fruit is harvested by hand. The fermentation vessels include a fascinating mix of wooden, cement and stainless steel vats. When finished the wine is pumped to the barrel cellar. Here it is transferred into oak barrique, between 50% and 100% new for the grand vin, Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, depending on the vintage.
Wine Spectator - "Bordeaux's wet, cool 2004 vintage got lost between the exceptional 2003 and 2005, but Jean-Hubert Delon's St.-Julien estate consistently delivers excellent wines in both great and difficult years. Half of the Chateau's 250 acres are planted in the famous Clos Léoville Las Cases, a gravelly vineyard that gently slopes down to the Gironde river. The wine was fermented in a mix of stainless-steel tanks, oak vats and cement tanks, then aged for about 18 months in oak barriques."
Wine Enthusiast - "This "super second" lives up to its billing. It is rich and concentrated with dark tannins that lie over the ripe, jammy fruit and black, rich chocolate flavors. Acidity and wood are there, but only just hints after the richness of the fruit. A real, magnificent aging wine."
The Wine Advocate - "Performing better from bottle than it did from cask, this blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc has put on weight over the last year. It exhibits the classic style of both Las Cases and St.-Julien in its deep black currant notes interwoven with sweet cherries, wet stones, and toasty vanillin. Made in a structured, medium to full-bodied style with superb concentration, beautiful purity, and admirable symmetry, this beauty is one of the strongest efforts of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028."
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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 & 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.