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The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.
The 2009 is one of the greatest Leoville Las Cases I have ever tasted, which is saying something given the many compelling wines that have been made at this estate. A final blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc has resulted in a wine that appears to be a hypothetical blend of the 1982, 1986, and 1996. Its 13.8% alcohol is perhaps the only thing that sets it apart from those vintages, which had nearly a full percentage point less. The high alcohol is barely noticeable in this 2009, which boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration, and great clarity and purity of creme de cassis, black cherry, spice box, graphite, and wet rock characteristics. Extremely full-bodied with a boatload of sweet tannin nearly concealed by the wine-s power, glycerin, and awesome fruit concentration, this intense effort never tastes heavy or tiring. This remarkable St.-Julien should be accessible in 3-4 years, and will evolve for 40-50. (Tasted once.) Drink 2013-2063.
The 2009 Léoville Las-Cases simply delivers on the nose with intense blackberry, wild hedgerow, graphite and crushed stone aromas on the nose. You would put this down as a Pauillac if served blind, unsurprising given that it borders that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky smooth in texture with immense depth. It is blessed with quite brilliant delineation and the precision on the finish is magnificent. Chapeau Mon. Delon. 2024 - 2060
Tasted at the château. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, with 6.4% vin de presse, delivering 13.4% alcohol and a pH of 3.65. The nose has brilliant delineation: this is the first thing that hits you, as if you can peer into the clos of the vineyard itself. Very expressive, almost feminine and wily, crystalline (this is something that I did not expect.) The palate is medium-bodied, saturated and supple on the entry, seamless tannins, a sense of controlled opulence here, very pure, rounded towards the finish, again, gliding across the mouth and caressing, rather than gripping it. The finish is very pure, almost Napa in style, but retaining sufficient structure and prudency of alcohol to allow that Saint Julien terroir to shine through. This is an irresistible Las-Cases, perhaps a modern day '85? Tasted March 2010.
Medium to deep garnet colored, the 2009 Léoville Las Cases rocks up with a drop-dead gorgeous nose of baked blackberries, warm plums and crème de cassis with suggestions of violets, rose hip tea, dark chocolate, menthol and sandalwood. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and decadent in the mouth, it has super ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and exotic. Drink 2020-2059.
Amazing aromas of cep mushrooms, dark fruits and fresh flowers, follow through to a full body and super velvety tannins with a long long finish. Gorgeous structure to this. Sexy and almost decadent. Just like when I tasted it in Hong Kong. Try in 2019.
From Robert Parker's Hong Kong Tasting, 8th Nov 2011:
This is a crazy nose of tar, currants and blueberries. Blackcurrants galore. The palate is so powerful and rich with super polished yet chewy tannins. An ultra-serious red. Muscular. Try after 2022
Black color. What a nose. Black licorice, raspberry, currant and dried flowers galore. Full-bodied and superpowerful, with masses of fruit and toasted oak, but a blockbuster finish of fruit, tannins and everything else. I have never tasted such a flashy sample. I am blown away by this. A more fruit-forward style for Las Cases.
Tasted blind. Mid crimson. Fragrant. Almost leafy. Concentrated palate with very nicely judged tannins. All in its place. Strongly cassis. Great balance.
Very deep crimson. Subtle with great depth of fruit and a hint of tobacco. This seems much sweeter and lusher than Léoville Las Cases usually does even if there is a lot of tannin underneath. Really quite voluptuous - what Bruno Borie claimed in Ducru? - but lots of fancy tannin and a bit of alcohol on the finish. Very firm but a bit of a step change with all that sweetness on the top. Date tasted 31st March 2010. Drink 2020-2040.
In the last 25 years this has been the top-performing non-1st Growth in the Médoc. The vines are situated alongside those of Chateau Latour and the rigorous pursuit of quality is demonstrated by the demotion of much of the production into the excellent Clos du Marquis. Now the young vines are not even used for Clos du Marquis with the creation of "Le Petit Lion" . Lascases will never be cheap but this is a wine that wants to taste like a First Growth and it frequently does. This has a fantastic core of fruit. Quite sweet for Lascases, an opulent wine for this property. Great intensity of crème de cassis fruit and big ripe tannins. Sumptuous and serious. Profound.
The lovely fragrance of violets and lilac comes through on the nose, the perfumed lifted and refreshed by red fruits. Powerful black fruits on the palate enrich with first cassis then sloe backed up by dark chocolate and liquorice. The tannins feel ripe adding to the sweetness but there is enough structure and acidity to balance, to lift the flavours and give a sleek elegance to the finish. Drink 2022-2050.
Everything you'd expect from Las-Cases in a great vintage, this is wine with power and tannin to spare. Deeply coloured, almost chewy wine, with lots of oak, but incredible structure, freshness and concentration. Meaty, savoury and textured with very fine, polished tannins and impressive length. The Delon portfolio is extremely impressive in 2009. 20+ years
Deep purple red, naturally concentrated bouquet over really smooth, sophisticated fruit with a taffeta lift, great purity and depth of vineyard fruit, superb elegance and length. Drink 2018-40.
Let yourself go and sink into this deep dark chasm that will swallow you whole if you let it. Enormous concentration, but every bit as much finesse, the finish extremely long and fine. And this is just beginning to give its best! Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)