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Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

The 2004 vintage of this wine was ranked #6 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2007

Chateau Leoville Las Cases is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Medoc region of France. 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, depending on the vintage.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
While the aromas are tight and firm, once it is in the mouth, this wine just explodes. The tannins are dark, almost impenetrable, dry and dense. These tannins are a layer over the fruit that just piles up with ripe blackberry juice, an edge of blueberry. The soft sweetness of this range of flavors continues on the finish, pitted against the tannins.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Not surprisingly, Leoville Las Cases has produced another classic, potentially long-lived wine in 2006. Among the St.-Juliens, it, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Leoville Barton possess the potential for the greatest longevity. Interestingly, when I visited this chateau in January, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon offered me two samples, one where the cork had been pulled immediately prior to tasting, and another that had been decanted four hours earlier. Both were superb, but the wine that had had extended aeration was clearly the finer offering. The opaque purple-hued 2006- only 40% of the crop made it into the final blend- exhibits a personality that mimics the superb 1996. Classic aromas of sweet black raspberries, kirsch, cassis, and subtle toasty oak are followed by a full-bodied, concentrated wine displaying moderately high tannin. This cuvee can often resemble a Pauillac wrapped in the St.-Julien appellation, and the 2006 is no exception. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, it will require significant cellaring before consumption. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2035+.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Offers a pure nose of crushed raspberry and violet, with aniseed. Full-bodied, with beautiful, well-integrated tannins and a long, polished texture to the finish. Very beautiful. Harmonious and structured. Best after 2015.
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Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

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Chateau Leoville Las Cases, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
2006
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.

St-Julien

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. That it lacks any first growths, is what 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. And rivalry among the classed chateaux serves only to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was once 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 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 them are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

Bordeaux Blends

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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/or 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.

In the Glass

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. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

WTC98002_2006 Item# 98002

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