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Bordeaux 2014: Château Léoville-Las-Cases

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

IMG_6735The purity of the wines across the Delon range is always enticing. Château Léoville-Las-Cases epitomizes this purity. The 2014 vintage appears very successful here. This is strong St Julien, with plenty of extract and weight but also freshness. It should come as no surprise that Clos du Marquis has turned in another excellent wine. Fashioned from terroir separate from the great Léoville estate, this is aromatic St Julien with plenty of fruit, depth and structure. Le Petit Lion is satisfying in 2014. It represents 20% of the production of the grand vin, and includes the fruit from younger vines and from older Merlots from the vineyard parcels of Léoville-Las-Cases itself.

The property here describe a ‘triple alliance’ in 2014, with all three principal grape varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, reaching full ripeness. This was seen as the product of the remarkable growing season. It started early, then slowed with a cool May. June and July experienced stormy spells, alternating with hot, sunny days. Sunny, dry weather settled in from the second half of August and continued through September until harvest – conditions ideal for the proper ripening of the tannins.

2014 vies with 2012 as the best vintage since 2010. Liv-Ex once again has interesting analysis on the pricing that can be found here. Domaines Delon released Léoville-Las-Cases at 96 euros a bottle, the equivalent of £920 a case. This is a 13% premium on 2012. Perhaps that makes the 2012 good value?

The following wines were tasted at Château Léoville-Las-Cases on Monday, 30th March, 2015.

Le Petit Lion, St Julien, 2014

Deeply coloured; tightish to rim; vivid purple; creamy blackcurrants; fresh with some black cherry; graphite; blackcurrants; sturdy palate; nice core of fruit; [label created in 2007]; elegant finish. Good stuff. [57% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc 33hl/ha, 30% new oak, 14.2% alc, TA 3.97, 3.55pH, IPT 62]. Drink 2022-2027. 87-89+

Clos du Marquis, St Julien, 2014

Deep and bold colour; fresh purple at edge; saturated; focused and saturated fruit; core here on the nose; bold statement; cassis and blackcurrant tones; some graphite too; layered; cool entry on the palate; very nice fruit; purity here [which defines this place]; depth and structure but plenty of cool flesh; tannins ripe and nice chew at the back; blackcurrants notes on the finish. Very good length. [74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 33hl/ha, 50% new barrels, 13.85% alc, 3.97 TA, 3.63 pH, ITP 68]. Drink 2023-2035. 91-93+

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Grand Cru Classé, St Julien, 2014

Deep and saturated colour; opaque; pure blackcurrant aromatics; some cassis; wonderful purity; creamy notes; blackcurrant fruit; some black cherry then there is oak; little dominant on the palate but will fill out; lots of texture and fruit; balanced; material and density but also balance. Really nicely done. [79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 33hl/ha, 85% new oak, 3.49 pH, TA 4.11 13.8% alc, IPT 70.] Drink 2025-2035. 94-95+

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