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Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2011

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

The 2011 has a deep, dense color, very saturated, with a nose that is fine and complex, with a very pure expression of fruit and notes of cedar. The palate is full and powerful, with a fleshy and densemid-palate, carried by the rich tannins. There is an exquisite finish supported by a sublime tannic structure, fine, elegant andbalanced.

Blend: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Ripe, fruity and powerful, this wine has intense Cabernet black-currant flavors, with plenty of richness and concentration. It shows the acidity and the bright fruit of the year.
Barrel Sample: 93-95 Points
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This property, which has been on a qualitative tear over the last generation, has produced one of the most successful wines of 2011. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it is broad, rich, medium to full-bodied and dense. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as lots of concentration, silky tannins, and a bigger, richer mouthfeel than any of its St.-Julien peers. The result is one of the stars of the vintage.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Shows a warm charcoal note from the start, backed by melted fig, crushed blackberry and steeped black currant fruit. A strong graphite edge pins down the finish. Dark in profile, but defined and well-suited to mid-term cellaring. A very solid effort.
JS 92
James Suckling
This shows a currant and berries with dark chocolate character. Full and chewy with a bright acidity. Structured too. A little austere. Wait and see. Only about 40% of the normal production. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot.
Barrel Sample: 91-92 Points
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Chateau Leoville Poyferre

Chateau Leoville Poyferre

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Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Due to a division of the large Léoville estate, Château Léoville Poyferré was created in 1840 and included as a Second Growth in the famous 1855 Classification. In 1920, the Cuvelier family purchased the estate and Didier Cuvelier has been in charge since 1979.

Major investments were made to bring out the best in the vineyards, and the cellars were also renovated. In 1994, noted consulting oenologist Michel Rolland began to offer his precious winemaking advice. The final blend is made after many careful tastings. Château Léoville Poyferré is aged in oak barrels, 75% of which are new every year. It is an extremely well-balanced wine with a great deal of finesse and excellent aging potential.

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.

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.

PSMLEOVILLEPOYFERRE11_2011 Item# 129247