|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
One of the leading "Super-Second" growths of the Médoc. The vines are situated alongside those of Château Latour, just over the St Julien border. The young Cabernet vines and much of the Merlot is used for the "Petit Lion" second label. The most Pauillac-like of all the Saint Juliens with a strong Cabernet Sauvignon character. The vines further inland from the "enclos" are used to make Clos du Marquis.
One of the wines of the vintage, the 2021 Léoville Las Cases is reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of the 1999 and 1996—only better. Offering up incipiently complex aromas of cassis, plums and dark berries mingled with loamy soil, cigar wrapper and exotic spices, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with superb amplitude and concentration, velvety tannins, lively acids and a long, penetrating finish. Uniting classicism and charm, it exemplifies how a great terroir, exigent agronomy and meticulous winemaking can deliver greatness even in a less propitious vintage. It's a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and a mere 5% Merlot this year, checking in at 13.2% alcohol.
The 2021 Léoville Las Cases was picked from 28 September until 8 October and includes just 5% Merlot from the northern sectors of the vineyard due to coulure. They found that increased percentages of Merlot did not contribute to the blend. Matured in 85% new oak, it has an intense nose with black fruit, graphite and light iris flower aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, quite a potent marine influence at play, almost briny (perhaps accentuated by the changeable weather on the day of my visit). Very impressive in terms of depth and backbone/grip with iodine and oyster shells towards the finish, this is a cerebral Las-Cases that will demand patience. Then again, name me a vintage of Las-Cases that doesn't! Alcohol here is at 13.20%.
The 2021 is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot being matured in 85% new oak. 13.2% alcohol. Picked 28th September to 8th October. They feel that stylistically it is a modern day version of the 1988 and perhaps a cross between the 1999 and 2001 in style. Deep ruby colour. Deeply mineral and full of hedgerow fruit on the nose. Structured, deep and linear on the palate, this is pristine Cabernet with both focus and precision. Tightly coiled but revealing blackcurrant, tobacco and cedar, this is impressive with refined power. Las Cases can often be brutally structured from barrel, but this effort seems to have just eased off the throttle enough to showcase more refinement and precision. Very long on the finish, it is a strong effort for the vintage.
This is very tannic and powerful with currant and salty undertones. Inky. Blackberry and blackcurrant, too. Full-bodied with lots of power at the end. 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cabernet franc and 5% merlot.
The 2021 Leoville Las Cases is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot, harvested from 28 September to 8 October, and to be aged in 85% new oak. Deep purple-black colored, it opens with profound notes of ripe, juicy blackcurrants, black cherries, and plum preserves, leading to hints of lilacs, cedar chest, dusty soil, and graphite, plus a hint of cumin seed. Light to medium-bodied, the palate delivers a quiet intensity of earth-laced black fruits with very fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and minerally. pH 3.71, IPT 77.
Plenty of fruit on display here, with waves of cassis, blackberry and bilberry along with the more typical of the vintage redcurrant and blueberry, savoury and full of juice, along with cloves, black pepper, slate and graphite. There is a power here, and estate signature, but the austerity that you often find in young Las Cases is really dominant in the architecture and character of the wine right now, and you will need patience over ageing for it to soften. 85% new oak. A strong candidate for upscoring in bottle.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot. Cask sample.
Less restrained than usual at this stage, the nose fresh and fragrant with floral and berry-fruit notes. More elegance than power, the tannins present but finely honed and the fruit expressive. Structured, so potential but not a muscular year. (JL) 13.3%
Drink 2030 – 2046