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Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

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

Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WS 98
Wine Spectator
The deep well of gorgeous cassis, blueberry paste and blackberry puree flavors will carry this for the long haul. Shows a terrific graphite underpinning and a flash of cold charcoal. This is a big one.
Barrel Sample: 95-98 Points
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Leoville-Poyferre is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Didier Cuvelier told me that color leeched out naturally and he conducted an 8 day pre-fermentation maceration. Matured in 80% new oak with some malolactic in barrel, it has a typical bouquet for this estate with opulent but neatly controlled, billowing scents of black cherries, black plum, crème de cassis and violets. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine tannin, a killer line of acidity and perhaps one of the most harmonious Poyferré that I have encountered at this juncture. It just glides across the mouth and slips down the throat with consummate ease. Superb.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
Looking at the 2016 Leoville Poyferre from barrel, this deep, inky-colored Saint-Julien doesn’t pull any punches and boasts serious amounts of ripe currant, blueberry, and cassis-like fruits, liquid violets, crushed rocks and graphite on the nose. A rich, full-bodied, prodigious barrel sample that has a stacked mid-palate, ripe, sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish, it’s going to need a decade to shed its baby fat, but it has thrilling purity of fruit and is an awesome wine.
Barrel Sample: 95-97+
JS 96
James Suckling
The buildup on the palate is impressive with blackberry and blueberry character. Plenty of currants, too. Full-bodied, linear and tight. Racy tannins and a long finish. Shows tension, depth, real raciness and pure finesse. A combination of the best from both 2009 and 2010.
Barrel Sample:95-96 Points
D 96
Decanter
This is always a big, dramatic wine which does well in big vintages. Right through the palate you feel the beautiful architecture, and the beauty of 2016 means that the final impression is of a sophisticated but supremely balanced wine with a modern construction. Damsons and bilberries abound, with clear tension where the skin of the wine is pulled tightly over the drum. It is less of a 'classical' St-Julien than some this year, but it is entirely of itself, and excellent. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, with a full 55% of the overall production making it into the grand vin, which has 3.66pH. Michel Rolland has been consultant for many years, working closely alongside owner Didier Cuvelier.
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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.

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