Chateau Leoville Barton (18 Liter) 2000

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WS 97
Wine Spectator
Amazingly rich and silky. Lots of chocolate and blackberry aromas with hints of raspberries. Full-bodied, with silky, round tannins. Great concentration. Long, long finish. This is the biggest, most powerful ever from Léoville Barton.
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Right from the early days of tasting in spring 2001, this was going to be one of the stars of the vintage. And a star it remains. There is big, ripe fruit, with solid, ageworthy tannins. It may not be as powerful as some of the blockbusters of the vintage, but it is certainly more opulent, less classical than Léoville-Barton can sometimes be.
JS 96
James Suckling
This wine has always been soft and delicious, with an almost decadent character of strawberry tart, earth, meat and spices. It’s full and very soft, with refined tannins and a very long finish.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I found this to be one of the more backward wines of the 2000 vintage and gave it a window of maturity of 2015-2040 when I reviewed it in 2003. In my two recent tastings of it, I changed that window to 2018-2050, which probably says more than the following tasting note could say. This is a behemoth – dense, highly extracted, very tannic, broodingly backward, with a dense purple color and very little evolution since it was bottled 8 years ago. Wonderfully sweet cedar and fruitcake notes are intermixed with hints of creme de cassis, licorice, and earthy forest floor. It is full-bodied and tannic, with everything in place, but like so many wines that come from Leoville Barton, it makes a mockery of many modern-day consumers wanting a wine for immediate gratification. Those who bought it should continue to exercise patience and be proud to own a wonderful classic with five decades of longevity ahead of it.
Rating: 95+
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Chateau Leoville Barton

Chateau Leoville Barton

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Chateau Leoville Barton, France
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In 1826, Hugh Barton, already proprietor of Chateau Langoa, purchased part of the big Leoville estate. His part then became known as Léoville Barton. Six generations of Bartons have since followed, and continued to preserve the quality of the wine, classified as a Second Growth in 1855.

In 1983, Anthony Barton, the present owner, was given the property by his uncle Ronald Barton who had himself inherited it in 1929. Anthony Barton's daughter Lilian Barton Sartorius now helps her father in managing the estate. Together, they maintain the traditional methods of winemaking, producing a typical Saint-Julien of elegance and distinction.

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

PDG508756_2000 Item# 508756

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