Chateau Leoville-Barton 2nd Growth St-Julien 2015


Chateau Leoville-Barton 2015 offers a complete and harmonious drink right now. The flavours and oak all look great. Very good Bordeaux.

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Originally part of the great Leoville Estate the property was split into three smaller parcels which are now known as Leoville Barton, Leoville Poyferre and Leoville Las Cases. The Barton family took ownership of their part of the Leoville Estate in 1836 and Chateau Leoville-Barton has been a much revered wine since. The Barton family also own Langoa Barton and it is at this Chateau that the wines of both properties are made.

I tasted this wine on 3rd December 2018 in a line up that included Leoville Barton 2010 and 2009. The 2015 offers caramelly oak, cassis, meaty notes, milk chocolate, violets. It is raw and young on the nose. But the palate is long, creamy with a streak of acid. The oak here is not bitter but quite round and tasty. This is the first time I’ve drink a newly arrive Cru Classe Bordeaux and thought “I could drink this wine again in the near future”. The balance is outstanding, the flavours are young but delicious and it is really love to drink. I have no doubt this wine will improve with time in the cellar. Drink right now, or drink after 2025.


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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed 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.


Great Bordeaux is still very much dependant on the vintage. The weather conditions in Bordeaux for the most part were agreeable albiet everything happened quite early. All the quality factors were there and the wines at the en-primeur tastings brought on a lot of excitement with some people comparing it to the 1998, 2005, 2009 and 2010 vintages for quality. The pricing is fair for these wines compared to quality.

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