Leoville Las Cases
Leoville Las Cases
WA 98: The 2019 Léoville Las Cases is a brilliant young wine that will delight Bordeaux purists. Unwinding in the glass with scents of cassis, dark berries, cigar wrapper and pencil shavings, it’s full-bodied, layered and tightly wound, with a deep core of fruit, lively acids and an abundance of rich, powdery tannins. Concentrated and serious, much like its immediate neighbor Château Latour, it is likely to emerge as one of the vintage’s longest lived—and greatest—wines.
JS 98: Currants and blackberries with crushed stones, bark and some conifer and pine cone. Perfumed. Discreet. Medium-to full-bodied with an integrated tannin structure that’s full of fine tannins that are weightless and seamless, building on the palate and coming out at the end. Needs five or six years to open. Texture of heavy silk. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. Try after 2027.
WA 95: Wafting from the glass with aromas of rich berries, plums, loamy soil, baking spices and pencil shavings, the 2012 Léoville Las Cases is medium to full-bodied, lively and layered, with impressive concentration for the vintage, supple tannins and a charming, enveloping profile. Seamless and beautifully integrated, at age 10, this quintessential classic is already surprisingly approachable, though of course it still has several decades of graceful evolution ahead of it.
JS 93: So pure on the nose with aromas of blackcurrants, raspberries and licorice. Hints of stones. Full body, polished yet chewy tannins and a long and racy finish. Layered tannins. Citrusy undertones. Bright acidity.
WA 95+: Another underrated vintage for this estate, the 2008 Léoville Las Cases is a vibrant, youthfully primary wine that's aging at a slower pace than the 2009. Unfurling to reveal aromas of dark berries and cherries mingled with subtle hints of pencil shavings and nicely integrated new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, taut and layered, with tangy acids, ripe tannins and a long, penetrating finish. Displaying compelling purity and energy, it's a serious Las Cases that will richly reward the patient but which is still some way away from its drinking window.
JS 95: Super racy and balanced. Masses of licorice and currants, intense aromas. Full and very silky with an intensity of fruit. Reminds me of the 1996. Best after 2015.
WA 92: A strong effort for the vintage, the 2007 Léoville Las Cases offers up aromas of dark fruits, burning embers, cedar box and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, with a fleshy mid-palate, powdery tannins and good length on the finish, it displays a sweetness of fruit and completeness that are rare in 2007.
JS 95: Complex aromas of currants, mushrooms and forest flowers. Some leaves. Medium to full body and firm, silky tannins with berry, light vanilla and cedar. Blackcurrants. Cigar box. Just opening. So delicious and drinkable now.
WA 95: The 2006 Léoville Las Cases is muscular and uncompromising, unwinding to reveal aromas of dark berries, cassis, burning embers, espresso roast, exotic spices, loamy soil and toasty oak. Full-bodied, rich and extracted, it's a deep, brooding wine with considerable depth and concentration, framed by an abundance of sweet, powdery tannin. It possesses considerable potential, but it continues to require patience.
JS 95: Aromas of blackberries, black olives, raspberries, iodine and asphalt follow through to a medium to full body with a tight, layered palate and a juicy finish. Hints of iodine at the end. Some licorice, too. Drink now.
WA 95: One of the successes of the vintage, the 2003 Léoville Las Cases becomes more and more reminiscent of the 1982 as it ages. Wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, pencil shavings, petroleum jelly and vanilla pod, it's medium to full-bodied, with a broad, fleshy profile and a concentrated core of fruit framed by ripe, velvety tannins. It's undeniably high pH in profile, but not to excess.
JS 97: This is more exotic and monstrous than the 2000. It is like a muscle builder, with lots of round and rich tannins and a core of dark fruits like black cherries and blueberries. Still very young, but structured and in need of five more years. Don’t touch this until 2015.
WA 94: Another underrated vintage for this estate is the 2002 Léoville Las Cases, an impressively deep and concentrated wine that still has considerable upside potential. Offering up aromas of crème de cassis, plums, loamy soil, pencil shavings and nicely integrated new oak, it's medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with a deep core of fruit framed by sweet, powdery tannins. This is a concentrated, characterful classic that is aging with real grace. I have enjoyed three bottles this year, but there's no rush, as the wine remains an adolescent in terms of evolution.
JS 94: Aromas of tobacco box, currants, cedar and mushrooms. It’s medium-to full-bodied with austere tannins and black-chocolate and licorice flavors. So much licorice, in fact. Linear and tight with a racy finish. Delicious now. Why wait?
WA 94: The 2001 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet colored with a touch of brick, it charges out of the glass sporting energetic notes of kirsch, blackberry preserves and blackcurrant pastilles with underlying scents of star anise, cumin seed, potpourri, oolong tea and tobacco leaf plus a waft of incense. The medium-bodied, exquisitely elegant palate explodes with a myriad of exotic spice, floral and dried berries notes, framed by soft tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and with impeccable poise and sophistication.
JS 95: A very typical Las Cases with a Pauillac note, even though it’s St.-Julien. Lead pencil, dried herb, currant and black olive. Medium-to full-bodied, firm and creamy with a long finish. It’s very persistent. Pretty austerity. Be sure to decant this a couple of hours in advance. Drink or hold.