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A classic style of Las Cases that is somewhat masculine for the vintage, tannic and backward, and less formidably concentrated than the 2009 or 2010, the 2008 needs 7-8 years of cellaring. Dense purple, the aromatics are closed, but with coaxing and aggressive swirling, notes of crushed rock, black currants and some forest floor notes emerge. Impressively built, medium to full-bodied, layered and stunningly concentrated, this is a sleeper vintage for Leoville Las Cases that should improve considerably, given how closed it was the day I tasted it. It is another 30+ year wine from proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon.
Readers should not be surprised that the 2008 Leoville Las Cases is a great classic as the selection process here is as Draconian as at any of the first-growths. Slightly more than one-third of the production made it into the grand vin, a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. Yields were just under 38 hectoliters per hectare, and the natural alcohol of 13.4% is among the highest ever measured at this estate. The harvest was very late, between October 6-18, and the result is a wine boasting extraordinarily sweet tannin as well as abundant black cherry and cassis notes intermixed with a prominent underlying minerality. Despite the massive density, concentration, and length, the wine is extremely precise, nuanced, and impeccably pure. This phenomenal effort should be more drinkable in its youth than many other vintages of Las Cases because of the ripe tannins and sweet fruit density. It will need 5-10 years of cellaring, and should last for 40+ years.
The 2008 Léoville Las Cases has a backward, broody, earthy bouquet with intense tobacco and graphite aromas, more like a Pauillac than a Saint Julien, no surprise given that it lies on the border. The palate is very impressive: layers of tobacco-tinged black fruit, sea salt and graphite. This is very precise and harmonious with a persistent and multi-layered finish that leaves you mightily impressed. 2020 - 2050
A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc (a little higher than usual) with 10.3% pressed wine. Cropped at 37.9hl/ha and coming in at a respectable 13.4% alcohol, the harvest commencing on 6th October, this has a ravishing nose of cassis, black plum, violets and a touch of eucalyptus - quite atypical for an '08. The palate is full-bodied with cashmere tannins on the entry, seductive, a little spicy, the back palate with almost a vanillary sweet finish. This is a lascivious Las-Cases that is nigh irresistible at this stage. Gorgeous - but how will it age? Tasted April 2009
The 2008 Léoville Las Cases is composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. Medium to deep garnet colored, it slowly unfurls to reveal compelling scents of Morello cherries, black raspberries, stewed plums and cassis with hints of dried Provence herbs, mocha, underbrush and charcoal, plus a lively waft of eucalyptus. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit layers with loads of bright herbal and minty sparks, supported by grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and savory.
Wonderful nose of roses, violets, raspberries and black licorice. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and lots of beautiful wood. Excellent.
Extremely deep blackish crimson. Spicy oak on the nose - very intense. Then amazingly opulent on the nose. Round and dense and dramatic. Like a cross between mulberries and tarmacadam. The Cabernets were naturally more than 13% apparently. Real excitement. Neat though not extraordinarily long finish. Still very, very youthful. The finish is very dry and brooding but much more supple than some earlier vintages
There are a lot of powerful ripe flavours on the nose and a depth on the palate. Black fruits
dominate lots of blackcurrant and cherry backed by firmer sloe. The tannins although firm feel
ripe not holding back the fruit which gives a fleshy richness on the finish. 2016-2030
It is packed with powerful flavours concentred and rich. The black fruits all vie for dominance first damson is in the ascendancy then cassis and sloe with fresher bilberry emerging giving freshness and elegance. Although the tannins are structured at the moment there is enough weight of fruit to win through.