|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien|
One of the leading "Super-Second" growths of the Médoc. The 55 hecatres of 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.
The 2022 is strongly Cabernet with 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot. Alcohol 14.25%. Harvested from September 8th to 30th. Yield 37 hl/ha and maturation in 84% new oak.
One of the wines of the vintage this year is the 2022 Léoville Las Cases, a monument in the making that combines unerring classicism with unusual sensuality and charm by the standards of this estate's sometimes youthfully forbidding wines. Exhibiting deep aromas of dark berries, violets, pencil lead, rose petals and tobacco leaf, it's full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with terrific concentration, beautiful purity of fruit, abundant but refined tannins and a long, vibrant finish. On the several occasions that I tasted it, the 2022 was surprisingly open for a young Las Cases, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were to shut down after a few years in bottle. It's a blend of 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot.
The 2022 Léoville Las-Cases was picked 8-30 September with more infusion than extraction, matured in 84% new oak. Precocious, almost decadent blackberry and blueberry fruit on the nose, there is something lavish and audacious about this Saint-Julien. There is an underlying estuarine element, a whiff off the banks of the Gironde. The palate is medium-bodied with polished tannins, very detailed, extremely pure, what you might call a "vertical" Las-Cases with fabulous precision on the finish. This surpasses the 2018-2020 trio and to use that clichéd expression, is a "tour de force". 2032-2080
A contender for wine of the vintage, this is a very impressive Leoville Las Cases that has found a new level of definition and precision. Vibrant purple in colour, the nose is full of tobacco, pristine blackcurrant, liquorice and wood smoke. The palate has this property's typical density, but the tannins are ultra-refined, plentiful but not overworked. The fruit cloaks the structure, with a lift and weightlesness that is impressive given the intensity. Saline wood spice is well measured and already integrated, allowing the fruit to shine. Lightly savoury, with a hint of tobacco, leather and nutmeg, this only gains complexity on the finish. Very long, with perfect balance, this is an absolute star in 2022.
This shows no gravity. The tannins are totally melted in the wine and give it fantastic structure, but the texture is so fresh and vivid. Crushed stone. Cloves. Chinese spices. Great finish. Opening and flying away. Orange peel. Very special. Thought-provoking. Endless. 83.5% cabernet sauvignon, 10.5% cabernet franc and 6% merlot.
A blend of 83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Merlot, with a pH of 3.8, the 2022 Leoville Las Cases is deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a lot of waking up before it strides confidently out of the glass with classic scents of warm cassis, juicy black plums, and pencil shavings, giving way to wafts of evocative scents of iron ore, crushed rocks, wood smoke, and violets, with a hint of star anise. The medium to full-bodied palate is the Taj Mahal of Cabernets, built with an amazing structure and so many intricate layers, it makes the mind spin. Youthful, crunchy black fruits and mineral sparks give way to a core of savory notes and plum preserves, intertwined with a firm backbone of exquisitely ripe tannins, and a very long, seamlessly lively finish. Wow!
Heading to Léoville Las Cases in a super ripe year is always a good idea, as the musuclar tannins are balanced by a riper mouthfeel. As quietly confident as you would expect, this is packed with depth and intensity, taking the 2022 vintage and reshaping it in the character of this St Julien powerhouse. Graphite, crushed rocks, liquorice root, cassis, bluberry, slate, saffran, smoked earth, all held in by tannins with grip and length. 3.8ph, and high alcohols for this estate, giving a seductive mouthfeel that is unusual in young Las Cases. 84% new oak, 37hl/h yield. Harvest September 8 to 30.
Looking at the Grand Vin 2022 Château Léoville Las Cases, it has an almost Pauillac-like style in its ripe, powerful aromatics of graphite, lead pencil shavings, cassis, and liquid rock-like minerality. Full-bodied, massively concentrated, and powerful on the palate, it nevertheless stays flawlessly balanced, has just about off-the-charts purity, ripe yet building tannins, and a great finish. This will clearly rank with the truly greats from this address and reminds me slightly of a mix of the 2016 and 2018. It is not, however, going to be for those looking for instant gratification.
83.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.5% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot. Cask sample.
Deep crimson colour. Complex, powerful and refined with blackcurrant, violet, spice and cedar notes. Juicy and dense with layered fruit and tannins. Big structure but the tannins almost hidden. Picks up pace on the finish. Long. One of the top wines this year. (JL) 14.3%
Drink 2032– 2055
I didn’t know this was a thing, but the Las Cases crew recently won the individual and team pruning championships. This is a massive deal in viti-circles, and it must be noted that this wine is sensational, so hats off to the hard work done in this particular estate. They carried out several different picks in the same plots to ensure every single grape was perfect, and with perfect fruit, it is possible to make perfect wine. As there is ongoing work at Las Cases on their new chai, I tasted this wine, and the rest of the Left Bank portfolio, at Nénin in Pomerol. After having tasted a day of Merlot-dominant wines, it was remarkable just how impactful it was to taste an imperial Cabernet Sauvignon, and it was immediately clear to me that this is another unfathomably beautiful creation. This is a big wine. In fact, it is a monumental creation, but you cannot feel the true heft of its flavour because it is so complex and integrated. There is so much Cabernet class here that it defies belief, and the cassis-soaked invasion is tempered by crushed rock salinity, mineral freshness and herbal details. The power and density of flavour are offset by astounding brightness, making Las Cases a shockingly vivid and pervasive wine, and I cannot see how it could be improved.
A luminous and utterly brilliant wine in 2022 that really sets itself apart. Hints of black bramble fruit, spicy peppercorns, violets, sweet cherries, crushed stones, ink and cocoa powder on the nose - all so very appealing. Tension and direction from the get go, this is sleek and slick, dense but such alluring coolness, with crushed stones and blueberries giving minerality as well as juicy acidity providing lift. It’s not out to shine right now, but there’s such confidence on show. Direct, slowly expanding effortlessly as it goes from start to finish, elongating the fine tannic structure that supports but doesn't overwhelm. So poised and refined, charming in a dark, utterly seductive way. Firm, but fruity, cool and calm, coming in waves. One of the wines of the vintage with striking power but delivered so perfectly with everything in balance. 3.80pH. 85 IPT. A yield of 36-37hl/ha.