Leoville Las Cases 2012

SubregionSt Julien

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See all wines by Château Léoville-Las Cases

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Tasting Notes

The bigger sister or brother of Le Petit Lion, depending on your point of view, the 2012 Leoville Las Cases has gorgeous minerality, plenty of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit that is super-pure, an opaque ruby/purple color, medium body and firm structured, slightly austere personality. This wine is built for the long-term. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it attained 13.5% alcohol, which is substantial for a 2012 Médoc. It has depth and richness, but also a boatload of tannin. Forget it for 8-10 years and drink over the following 15-20.
Drink: 2023 - 2043

Score: 93+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (218), April 2015

The seriously endowed 2012 Las Cases exhibits a dense purple color as well as surprisingly sweet tannin and a forwardness that one does not normally find at this address. Medium to full-bodied with beautiful black currant, graphite, crushed rock and subtle oaky notes, it possesses lots of minerality and precision, impressive power, a rich mid-palate (which sets it apart from other St.-Juliens), and a long finish. It appears this beauty will be drinkable in 5-6 years, and last for 25 or more.

One of the best, if not the finest wines made in St.-Julien in 2012 is Jean-Hubert Delon's famed Leoville Las Cases. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol, which is interesting given the fact that its next door neighbor, Latour, only hit 12.8%. Delon said rot was no problem in their well-drained, gravelly vineyards (which are of first-growth quality in fact if not in name).

Score: 93/95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (206), April 2013

Picked over 12 days between 4th and 18th October, the Grand Vin is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc with 9% pressed wine and it will be matured in 80% new oak. It has a deep, clayey-scented bouquet with blackberry, briary and espresso. The palate is fresh and lively on the entry and the tannins appear very fine, lending this Las-Cases the potential to be very feminine and lithe. It demonstrates admirable focus, it is not a particularly overly ambitious Grand Vin and appears extremely well controlled on the finish. Tasted April 2013.

Score: 91/93Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, May 2013

So pure on the nose with aromas of blackcurrants, raspberries and licorice. Hints of stones. Full body, polished yet chewy tannins and a long and racy finish. Layered tannins. Citrusy undertones. Bright acidity. Better in 2019.

Score: 93James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2015

A structured and powerful Las Cases. It really grabs you and makes you take note. Yet there is polish and refinement in the texture. Full body, with intense tannins and long, lively finish. The fruit acid balance is very pretty.

Score: 94/95James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2013

The 2012 Léoville-Las-Cases offers lovely up front voluptuousness, something I am almost shocked to write about one of the Left Bank's most notoriously slow agers. Sweet red cherry, dried flowers and pipe tobacco scents meld into a translucent, mid-weight Las Cases that should drink relatively early by this wine's standard. The silky finish only adds to the wine's considerable early appeal. The blend is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. Drink 2022-2042.

Score: 93Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, January 2016

Black crimson. Angular and savoury. Appetising above all. Not deep, nor sweet. Even slightly skinny. Very vibrato with the vintage character. Not one of the standouts of the vintage. Too angular.

Score: 17Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2013

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 huge black colour that stains the sides of the glass. The palate is massive and full of cassis, black cherry, and dark chocolate with hints of tarmac, lead pencil and wood smoke. Big, succulent, fat, with a slick and polished texture. Long firm finish.

Score: 17+Farr Vintners, March 2013

This is among the tightest wines at this early stage, with a wall of
smoldering charcoal holding the core of dark plum, blackberry
paste and cassis in reserve. The sleek finish shows admirable
length and a mouthwatering echo of iron. This harnesses the austerity
of the vintage to its advantage, and should unwind slowly in
the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.

Score: 94James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider, January 2015

The nose is full of ripe fruit lots of black cherry and black plum and this richness of flavour gives depth on the palate. The tannins are rounded the mid palate fleshy quite supple with a lovely depth of flavour. It is firm at the back but there is lots of fruit to show. 2020-35.

Score: 93/96Derek Smedley MW, April 2013

"A wine that isn't far from being great" is how Jean-Hubert Delon modestly describes his 2012,
comparing it favourably to his 2010. It's certainly one of the Left Bank successes of the vintage:
precise, dense and almost chiseled in that classic Las Cases way. The wine is surprisingly rich
for its alcohol level, with very serious Médocain tannins and a touch more plumpness than the
2011, thanks to the addition of a little more Merlot. A claret for grown ups.
Drink: 2022-40

Score: 96Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2013

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.