Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front LabelChateau Leoville Poyferre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Leoville Poyferre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JD 99
Jeb Dunnuck

One of the gems in the vintage will be the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré, which is a powerful, incredibly sexy wine based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, representing just 45% of the total production. In the same ballpark as the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010, its deep purple color is followed by a rich, opulent bouquet of sweet black and blue fruits, tobacco, and graphite. Both intellectually and hedonistically satisfying, it fills the mouth with fruit, has remarkable purity and precision for such a powerful wine, sweet tannins, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It's similar in character to the 2009 and will keep for three decades or more. This wine checks in at 14.4% alcohol. Barrel Sample: 96-99.

WS 98
Wine Spectator
This is brimming with plum, blackberry and blueberry reduction flavors, backed by grippy, energetic bramble, licorice and apple wood notes. Chockablock with stuff but defined and balanced. A no-brainer for the cellar.
Barrel Sample:95-98
JS 98
James Suckling
This is so powerful and dense with amazing tannin quality that reminds me of dense clouds, because they are agile and light. Multilayered. Extremely long, too. Punchy! One of the best wines I have ever had from here.
Barrel Sample: 97-98
D 97
Decanter

Deep, silky, and satiny in texture, you can practically stroke this in the glass! The round mouthfeel tells of ripe fruit and generous alcohol but there's not a trace of heat, and the balance is gorgeous. Tannins match you step for step, stopping for breath in all the right places. They keep the luscious black cherry, liquorice and dark chocolate all in place. The 2016 vintage was almost one degree less in alcohol, and certainly this is a little less architectural in its construction, but that extra percent has clearly gone a long way to covering the tannins in silk. Barrel Sample: 97

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Velvet tannins support beautifully ripe black fruits, giving a wine that is structured yet also generous in nature. The wine is likely to age for many years with its deceptively massive tannic structure and lasting acidity.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré begins sporting a veil of cedar, opening out to reveal profound notions of crème de cassis, warm kirsch, Black Forest cake and Indian spices plus hints of chargrilled meats and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the taut, muscular black fruit has a solid frame of firm, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of savory nuances. Aging is anticipated to be for 18 months in barriques, 80% new. The current blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Barrel Sample: 94-96+
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Chateau Leoville Poyferre

Chateau Leoville Poyferre

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Chateau Leoville Poyferre, France
Chateau Leoville Poyferre Winery Image
Due to a division of the large Léoville estate, Chateau 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. Chateau 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.

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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.

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