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Chateau Leoville Las Cases (scuffed labels) 2004

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750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
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.
WE 95
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.
RP 93
Robert Parker's 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

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

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Chateau Leoville Las Cases, France
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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.

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St-Julien

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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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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 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.

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