The 1996 Leoville-Las Cases is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc picked between 25 September and 10 October (for fascinating insight, read Robert Parker`s remarks about the blend with Michel Delon in the original tasting note). Now at 20 years, it has evolved into an absolutely stunning Saint Julien, clearly one of the best wines from the estate this decade. The bouquet is beautifully defined with intense black cherries, cedar, mint and a touch of oyster shell that seems to gain intensity in the glass. The palate is seamless from start to finish, extraordinarily pure, the 70% new oak totally assimilated of course, impressive weight and power allied with genuine finesse and tension towards the silky smooth finish. It stands as one of the best wines of the vintage without one iota of doubt and it will last 30-40 years without problem. You might call it "proper Claret." You might call it "delicious." Tasted July 2016.
The history of Leoville Las Cases can be traced back to the 17th century. A neighbor to Château Latour, this Saint-Julien estate is a second growth producer releasing around 180,000 bottles of its Grand Vin, and 250,000 bottles of its second label Clos du Marquis. It is one of three parts to Leoville, the others being Barton and Poyferre. The most impressive of the three vineyards, will stop a taster in its tracks.
Leoville Las Cases made history by being the first Bordelais Château to introduce a second label, and again when it took 6th place in the Judgement of Paris in 1976. Many regard Leoville Las Cases as a “super second”, meaning that the wines stand up to its neighboring first growths. The estate consistently produces beautiful wines.
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