Chateau Langoa-Barton is the sister property to Leoville Barton. Owned by the Barton family since 1821. The vineyards for Langoa are in a cooler terroir and therefore the wines are always classically styled, elegant, refined and gorgeous. These are wines to age and I’ve never been disappointed with this estate. The 25 hectare of vineyards contain 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cab Franc and a bit of Petit Verdot.
Described as ‘the Gentlemans Claret’ for its elegance and restraint. These wines often impress for the balance but never blow you away with overt characters or brass flavours. St-Julien wines age very well and in a good cellar the top wines will probably out live anyone of us.
The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines have structure but finesse with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus they are almost not needed.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
If you like elegant, lighter and less oaky Bordeaux (and who doesn’t?), then this will be a year to carefully buy. At their best, a few of the wines are as good as the 15 & 16 vintages. Stick to great red Bordeaux producers. Whites and Stickies were quite good.