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Château Langoa Barton

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Address: 33250 St Julien-Beychevelle

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 06 05

E-mail: chateau@leoville-barton.com

Website: www.leoville-Barton.com

Irishman Hugh Barton bought Château Langoa in 1821. It was classified a third growth at the time of the 1855 classification. In 1929 Ronald Barton inherited the chateau and in 1983 handed the property over to Anthony Barton who still runs the property. Stablemate of Château Léoville-Barton, whose wine is made in the same cellars.

Château Langoa Barton is impeccably made though it can be a touch austere with quite drying tannins in some vintages. Certainly it is a very serious wine with good purity. The 2009 is an extraordinary effort and the best wine I’ve yet had from Langoa. 2011 here was successful for the vintage too.

Vineyard/Terroir: 18 hectares with gravel on clay subsoil planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc.

Winemaking/Elevage: Fermented in temperature-controlled wooden vats followed by twenty months ageing in oak barrels, 50% of which are new.

Tasting notes:

  • 2014 Deep colour; opaque at centre; purple at edge; ripe fruit; ripe plums; spices and some black cherry notes; lots of fruit; nice entry to the palate; extract, matter; some tightness but I like the tension; perhaps a little too much new oak on the finish presently. Probably will fill out. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. 13.5% alc; 60% new oak. Harvest dates 25/9 – 8/10. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 89-91+
  • 2013 Deep and saturated look; creamy blackcurrant aromas with sour cherry notes; attractive purity; nice entry with blackcurrant fruit; cool blue fruit tones; there is grip and acidity but there’s a good balance between this and the purity of the fruit. Compact but a good effort overall. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 13% alc]. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 88-90
  • 2012 Mid depth; creamy blackcurrant freshness here with some stalky notes; quite tight on the palate but with good fruit; some flesh here and nice grip. Clean and freshly styled St Julien as usual from here. Drink 2017-2025. 88 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Mid depth; nice purity of fruit on the nose – blackcurrants and black cherry notes; cool; palate nice blackcurrant tones with Morello cherry; mid-weight with acid and some chew. Fresh. 86-88+ [Earlier note] Deep and healthy looking; purple at edge; quite lifted; black fruits; palate fresh; lots of acid and freshness alongside the blackcurrant fruit tones. Will come good, but will always have sap and grip. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc 60% new oak. Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 87-89
  • 2011 Mid depth – light at core; fresh blackcurrants; little fruit compote; clean blackcurrant flavours but distinctly fresh acid which gives the impression of austerity. Chewy finish and, I’m sorry to say, feels old fashioned. May come good but will always be austere. Lacks excitement and joy. Drink 2018-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; tight to the edge; similar tones to Léoville Barton – loaded with blackcurrants, fruit compote, cream – very attractive and pure in a fresh way. Ripeness. Little bit of dark cherry and bitter chocolate. Blackcurrants on the palate; complete and composed; lots of layers; good buy here. Nice purity. Not dryly tannic. Fresh and with good length. A real success. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted twice at UGC. 90-92+ Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
  • 2010 Deep and dark at the centre; stalky fresh blackcurrants and ink; tight but layers and opens up in the glass; very clean and very pure; impressive; blackcurrant fruit tones domnate the palate; solid but clean and crisp; very good stuff. Drink 2018-2035. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; fresh; some blackcurrant and dark cherry notes; pure again; similar to Léoville Barton obviously but a notch down in volume; some spice; very classic; blackcurrants and leaf; some undergrowth; grippy and structured palate; lots of extract, tannin and acid. Quite a mouthful at present. Also needs ten years plus. 91+ UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Very dense; ripe and creamy, cassis, blackcurrant notes; saturated with aroma; impressive nose, layers; good attack, intense but some flesh; good grip and tannin ripe. Dry, grippy finish. Length. Pretty good. 89-91+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011. [Second tasting at UGC] Very big and dense looking; vibrant, silky and attractive note; fresh blackcurrant and cassis; quite excellent on the nose. Very clean and precise. Dense, concentrated palate, tannins here and a hardness. Will need ten years. Good length, grip and chew at the back. Not seemingly as extraordinary as 2009, more classical, tannic and strong. 89-91/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
  • 2009 Mid depth; stones, blackcurrants and cassis on the nose; layers of blackcurrant fruit here; sturdy and fresh but full of fruit; nicely balanced and appetizing freshness. Clean and fresh in a [relatively] tauter style than some but that restraint is appealing. Drink 2017-2030. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep, dark and inky looking; lovely seductive nose of blackcurrant fruit, earth and freshness; these Barton wines are now coming into their own  – and Langoa is every bit as impressive as it was during the primeur tastings; real density, mineral tones; crushed rocks and pure blackcurrant fruit; chewy and structured it will need time but such wonderful blackcurrant fruit. Knockout St Julien and knocking on the door of sibling Leoville-Barton. 95+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Vibrant colour; ripe and very attractive nose; very perfumed with red fruits and concentrated – lovely layers here; quite pretty; roses and red fruits; very correct for St Julien; lovely layered palate with good fruit; tannic but ripe with intensity; extract and tannins here but excellent overall. A structured wine. Will age very well. The blend is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. The best Langoa I’ve had. 92-93+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tasting.
  • 2008 Mid depth; blackcurrant pruity; quite fresh; palate quite compact and firm in acid; chewy and tight. Drink now – 2025 88+ MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Deep red black with purple hue, ripe muscular style; blackcurrants; cassis; quite serious; pretty full across the palate, no dips; softer, rounder tannin than I expected; well integrated. Intense and with good length. Very good 90+/100 UGC Oct ’10.
  • 2007 Deepish; legs; some red fruits, some rasin; almost Italinate lift with resin and dark fruits; ripeness here some spice and layers; this has put on weight; grippy palate; chewy and dense; blackcurrant flavours; feels a bit old fashioned; lots of structure and acid; will settle in the long term but don’t expect the chewy tannins to fully resolve. Drink now – 2025. 88+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid red; stone mineral quality here; red fruits; some resin; intense; good palate quite dense and tannic; needs time. Clean flavours and tannic. 86-87/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2006 Again good depth here, deep and intense looking; coming after big brother a bit difficult but minerals and stones here alongside the blackcurrants; resin and intensity here but this is very good – deep and intense but also fresh. Some tobacco creeping in. Lots of cassis and blackcurrants here. Palate concentrated and fresh with excellent intensity and grip and structure. There is sufficient flesh here and the tannins, while a little dry, should work out. Overall good guts and extract on the palate rich in fruit with lots of cassis and blackcurrant flavour. Really quite rich. Excellent length too. Langoa has showed extremely well in the past four vintages with little of the estate’s [former] benchmark austerity. This is hot on Leoville Barton’s heels. Drink now-2028. 92+/100 MW Institute Nov ’10.
  • 1994 mid depth; some tobacco and St Julien notes of tobacco and cedar but still quite closed. Mid weight palate of some depth but austere and dry tannins at the end. Drink now. 84/100 Oct ‘05
  • 1982 Mid red; tobacco and meaty savoury nose; some dust but intense; palate again concentrated and meaty. Intense with ripe but chunky tannins. Drink now. 90/100 May ‘96
  • 1981 Mahogany; dull not limpid; slightly dusty and dry tannin nose; the genie of St Julien hasn’t visited this bottle; or if it did it departed ten years ago; still has structure but also has old bones feel to it. Tough [tasted from magnum]. 75/100 Jan ‘05

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