The 2000 Léoville Las Cases takes time to unwind in the decanter and glass, but when it begins to show all its cards, the display is spectacular. Mingling aromas of dark berries and red fruits with aromas of pencil shavings, loamy soil, cedar box, bitter chocolate, dried rose petals and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a layered, complete mid-palate that's rare in this vintage, powdery tannins and a long, resonant finish. An uncompromising classic, even as it closes in on its 22nd birthday, the 2000 Las Cases remains an infant in terms of evolution. 2025 - 2055
Along with the Medoc first growths, Leoville Barton, Chateau Montrose, Sociando Mallet, and a handful of other producers, Leoville Las Cases continues to make a wine meant for very long-term cellaring. When I did my earlier tastings of the 2000, my projected maturity dates were 2012-2040, but it is looking more like 2020-2050. This full-bodied blend of nearly 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.4% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc still has a youthful ruby/purple color, notes of graphite, kirsch liqueur, black currants, and lead pencil shavings, with good acidity, the tell-tale purity, layered ripeness and intensity, and a profound finish. However, with its high level of tannin and brooding backwardness, this superb effort needs to be forgotten for up to a decade.
This wine has put on weight and, as impressive as it was from cask, it is even more brilliant from bottle. Only 35% of the crop made it into the 2000 Leoville Las Cases, a blend of 76.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.4% Merlot, and 8.8% Cabernet Franc. The wine is truly profound, with an opaque purple color and a tight but promising nose of vanilla, sweet cherry liqueur, black currants, and licorice in a dense, full-bodied, almost painfully rich, intense style with no hard edges. This seamless classic builds in the mouth, with a finish that lasts over 60 seconds. Still primary, yet extraordinarily pure, this compelling wine, which continues to build flavor intensity and exhibit additional layers of texture, is a tour de force in winemaking and certainly one of the great Leoville Las Cases. In another sense, it symbolizes / pays homage to proprietor Michel Delon, who passed away in 2000. Michel has been succeeded by his son, Jean-Hubert, another perfectionist. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040.
The millennial Las-Cases is very well defined on the nose, although there is still a lot of oak to be resolved. Ripe blackberry and a touch of sloe, tobacco and graphite, a puff of smoke with time. Very controlled and assured, perhaps a little more generous than I expected. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, typically obdurate tannins, very masculine with tobacco and a touch of white pepper towards the finish. Drink 2020 - 2050.