Peter Maude Fine Wines
2021, Château Léoville Lascases, SAINT-JULIEN 2ème Grand Cru Classé
$404.80 inc. GST
Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot
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 2021 Léoville Las-Cases is classy, nuanced and so expressive. There's gorgeous depth, and yet the 2021 is not as explosive as it has been in the recent past. That's not a bad thing, not at all. Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc comprise fully 95% of the blend in a Las Cases that is beautifully persistent from start to finish. It's a wine that has one foot in its rich, historical past, and the other very much in the more modern style of contemporary vintages. There is so much to look forward to. 94-96 Antonio Galloni, Vinous.
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. 95-97 William Kelley, Wine Advocate.
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! 94-96 Neal Martin, Vinous.
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. 94 Jane Anson.