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Léoville Las Cases 2005

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot

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Tasting Notes

This is a prodigious effort. A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc (only 37% of the crop qualified for Las Cases), this dense ruby/purple wine has a stunningly pure bouquet of dark fruit, wet rocks, graphite, and subtle background toast/vanillin. Full-bodied, masculine, and very deep and concentrated, this titanic effort is at least 8-10 years away from its plateau of maturity. The Delon family have produced another legend. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2050+.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015

The 2005 Léoville Las Cases is a classic that numbers among the wines of the vintage in the Médoc. Wafting from the glass with notes of dark berries, cassis, incense, burning embers, sweet soil tones, dark chocolate and cigar wrapper, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a vibrant core of fruit, lively acids and sweet, powdery tannins. More elegant and refined than the hulking, uncompromising 2006, the 2005 is nevertheless a powerful, tightly wound wine that will reward further bottle age, even if it's actually quite expressive today. 2025 - 2065

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, August 2022

The Château Léoville Las-Cases 2005 has a surprisingly backward bouquet that has clearly decided to let Poyferré have all the fun at the moment. This is very well defined but extremely tight, reluctantly offering blackberry, wet tobacco and iris scents to eke from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and acidity. It is not as deep or as concentrated as I was anticipating, brutally shy in the glass with a linear finish that says: "Come back another day." Say in 2025. Drink 2023 - 2050

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2015

Black in color, with amazing aromas of crushed blackberry, mineral, licorice and lead pencil. Breathtaking. Full-bodied, with a mind-blowing texture of seamless tannins that coat every millimeter of the palate. Goes on and on, with licorice, currant and flowers. An incredible red; time will tell if it's better than the 2000. Best after 2017.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2008

The 2005 Leoville Las Cases is a blend of 87.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.6% Merlot, and 4.8% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-brick in color, it explodes with black and blue fruit preserves notes before giving way to a spray of creme de cassis, hoisin, Indian spices, and crushed rocks scents. The medium-bodied palate is finely knit with elegantly styled, fragrant black fruit and earthy layers, supported by firm, densely pixilated tannins and lively acidity, finishing long and opulent. At a sweet-spot in its evolutionary curve, poised between fruitiness and a tertiary spice bomb, this is gorgeous right now, although it will cellar easily to 2055+. Leoville Las Cases is owned by the Delon family - now Jean Hubert Delon. It consists of 125 different parcels, but the heart of the estate is a walled clos that borders Latour, including around 124 acres (out of 240 in total). Of all the Saint-Julien estates, Leoville Las Cases is the closest to the estuary and to Pauillac, so in some vintages it can seem more like a Pauillac. The style here is more concentrated and opulent than other Saint-Juliens with a firmer backbone. It does behave, in many respects, like a Pauillac, except with more perfume and decadence.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, July 2022

This is still too young to drink, and provides a lesson in how Léoville Las Cases can be out of step with the rest of its appellation. This remains austere, with tannins that are well built but still hiding the dark chocolate shavings, cloves, cassis, slate and black truffle character underneath. Right now this is a 2005 that accentutes the structre of the year, and is not yet showing its generosity. Mouthwatering finish though, with the frssh acidities that make this wine such an ageing powerhouse. Give it time, the rewards will come. 50% new oak. mark LLC and make it such an ageing powerhouse. Jean-Hubert Delon owner.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2023

Tasted blind. Dark purplish crimson. Straightforward and a bit austere. Lots of acidity – and tannin.
Drink 2018-2030

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, March 2017

Saturated ruby-red. A confiture of dark berries on the nose, with a complicating torrefaction note of coffee. Fat, sweet, plump and full, with a silky, enveloping texture rare for this wine in its youth. The highly concentrated cassis, violet and bitter chocolate flavors really take over the mouth and stay awhile. The huge, chocolatey finish features big, ripe, building tannins. One can easily taste this massive wine today, but there are great reserves here to ensure a long and slow evolution in bottle-and I would not be at all surprised if it shut down soon for a very long time. Our cabernet sauvignon was perfectly ripe in both '05 and '06, noted cellarmaster Rolland.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, June 2008

Came 43rd out of 184 wines

-, Southwold Bordeaux Tasting, January 2009
Read more tasting notes...

Another titanic effort from the Delon family, the 2005 Leoville Las Cases is probably the greatest wine made at this estate since Jean-Hubert Delon's father produced the 1986 and 1996. Only 37% of the production made it into the 2005, a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with less than 13% Merlot and Cabernet Franc. An inky/ruby/purple color is accompanied by reticent aromatics that, with considerable coaxing, offer up subtle notes of toasty vanillin intermixed with lead pencil shavings, wet rocks, and enormously ripe, intense black cherry and creme de cassis. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel as well as enormous extract, concentration, and purity. This ageless, monumental claret requires a minimum of 15-20 years to approach maturity, and should last for a half century. It is about as classic a Leoville Las Cases as one will find. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008

Sensational aromas of currants, berries, minerals and flowers. Full-bodied, with big, chewy tannins. Starts off slowly, then builds on the palate and goes on and on. Could be even better than 2000, and I gave that 100. This wine makes my head spin. Amazing. Layered and long. This is so 100-points.

James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, March 2006

Mid to deep crimson. A stony, mineral undertow on the nose but with lovely lift and haunting scents too. Firm with a very ripe spread of flavours that almost distract from the weight of fine tannins underneath. Unlike some wines, this wears its tannic charge effortlessly. Racy and lifted. A very successful Las Cases. 13%
Drink 2020-2045

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2015

Very very deep crimson. Very very stereotype 'masculine' and savoury to Clos du Marquis' more feminine and silky charms on the nose and then wonderful energy and bright fruit yet lovely texture - much less tough than usual. Vibrant and full throttle without being jagged and uncompromising. Fine and dense and really, really St-Julien. Extremely opulent without being at all sweet. The clay gives the intensity but the soils are very complex. As at Latour, the tannins are very silky and round yet the fruit is amazingly intense. There's a real stylistic relationship between Latour and Las Cases this year. Drink 2017-35

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2006
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.