NOTE: Leoville Barton 2018 is sold En-Primeur. Stock due to arrive mid-late 2021.
“A stunner, showing a great degree of purity, with long flavors of cassis, plum and blackberry preserves, seamlessly integrated with the graphite structure. A very vivid, defined, precise wine.” Score: 96/99 James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019
Originally there was one great Leoville Estate. Eventually, there 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 it has been a much-revered wine since. The Barton family also own Langoa Barton. and both properties make their wines at this Chateau.
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last-minute by timely sunshine.
Described as ‘the Gentleman’s 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 outlive 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 and finesse. With flavours of cassis, violets, mint, and more when young. It also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grows 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 grows. 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.
Quality Red Bordeaux in 2018 is deep in colour, aromatically complex, and opulent in the mouth. While it sounds like they will be ready to go from day one, most experts are predicting this is a vintage for long-term cellaring. Think 30 years or more! It wasn’t the best start to the vintage so quality is not uniform. Look for Northern Medoc, Margaux, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion.