Château Léoville Poyferré
Address: 33250 St Julien-Beychevelle
Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 08 30
The third of the estates to have been formed from the partition of the great Léoville property, Léoville Poyferré came into being in 1840 and was classified a second growth in 1855. In 1920 was purchased by the Cuvelier family. Didier Cuvelier took charge in 1979 which is roughly when the estate, then the real underperformer amongst the three Léovilles, began its steady renaissance. There has been major investments since, both the vineyard and the cellar, and since 1994 oenologist Michel Rolland has consulted here. Château Léoville Poyferré today is very sleek and polished. The 2009 is spectacular, one of the wines of the vintage. The second wine is Pavillon de Poyferré.
Chateau Moulin Riche is a separate 22 hectare entity but is usually very well made and in the best vintages provides a glimpse of the Poyferré polish at a keener price.
Vineyards/Terroir: 80 hectares on Garonne gravel planted with 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Winemaking/Elévage: Fermentation and maceration in temperature controlled tanks followed by 22 months in barrels with 75% new oak. Egg white fining, no filtration.
- 2015 Deeper and concentrated; plenty of gloss and polish; very fine and concentrated aromatics; focused; minerality too; pent up as you’d expect; slowly opens up in the glass; floral note; blackcurrants; cassis tones; nice entry on the palate; wood integrated; chew and depth here; not a flashy wine but very complete with depth and elegance. Nice chew on the finish and matter. Very fine. Very good wine here. Very definitely a long term Poyferré – but harmony and balance here. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc, IPT 80, TA 3.45, pH 3.69]. Drink 2025-2040. 94-96+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated; ripe; fruitcake spices; menthol; layers of fruit on the nose; intense palate with lots of matter and density; extracted but the material excellent and the tannins ripe; chewy finish. Pretty long-term Léoville-Poyferré this. Tasted UGCB 5/4/16. 93-95+
- 2014 Deep and saturated look; lots of fruit and matter on the nose; spices; fruitcake notes; focused and precision; crushed rocks and the lift from the new oak; lots of matter on the palate; spices; menthol notes; blackcurrants; olives; concentrated and formidable. Great length and extract but tannins ripe. Lots of depth and matter here. Drink 2025-2035. Tasted UGC 31 March, 2015. 93-95 [Rarlier note] Deep and saturated look; earthy purple meniscus; legs; opaque at centre; substantial; little brooding at first; seam of blackcurrants and cassis on aeration with minerality; formidable; opens up on the aromas; quite fat fruit beneath; fine palate; bold fruit but nicely precise; structured and taut at present; early start but has concentration and length. Excellent length in fact. Usual story of precise fruit and polished tannins. This will fill out. Feels akin to 2005. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 13.25% alc, IPT 86, TA 3.45, pH 3.71]. Drink 2025-2035. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 93-95
- 2013 Deep and saturated look; tight to rim; vibrant; blackcurrant purity with a vanilla lift; focused and precise on the palate; seam of fruit; oak needs to integrate a little but good effort. Grip and focus. Chewy finish. Pretty serious. Akin to 2008. [65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc], 13% alc, TA 3.6, pH 3.63, IPT 73, 34hl/ha]. Tasted 31/3/14 at Léoville-Poyferré. Drink 2020-2030. 91-92+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated; attractive and layered nose; complex; full; smoked meats; blackcurrants; nice entry and good extract and material; firmly structured – and feels a little more backward compared with the Bartons just before but all the elements clearly there; chew and density on the finish suggests a serious effort here. Will settle nicely. Tasted UGC 1/4/14. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+
- 2012 Deep attractive colour; pretty fruit on the nose, spice and depth; attractive fruit on entry – blackcurrants – layers of fruit here; full and some weight and grip; all the elements are in proportion and tannins supple and ripe [but considerable]. A very good effort this from Didier Cuvelier and his team. Has power but will be reasonably approachable early on. Drink 2016-2030. 92+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier] Deep and tight to the rim; saturated colour; healthy purple at rim; lots of blackcurrant cassis; layered and mannered; precise; blackcurrant notes, some smoke and meat; tight palate, lots of fruit evident; minerals; good focus again; lots of fruit here but very focused. Didier Cuvelier thought it closed on the day. Very expressive nose. Looks very good indeed, should blossom further. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 13.4% alc, IPT 82, pH 3.8. Tasted Monday April 8, 2013 at the Chateau. 92-93+ [Additional notes from UGC] Deep and saturated look; ripe; lots of fruit on the nose; thicker and layered; nice palate with good depth and density. Tannic grippy finish but need a bit of time. UGC Thursday, April 11, 2013. 91-92+ [Additional note] Deep and saturated look; ripe and deep on the nose; smoky notes, blackcurrants; lots of finesse; palate has a lot of material; nicely composed; layers of fruit if firm tannins at the back. Chewy finish but very good material. UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013. 91-92+
- 2011 Deep and saturated look; lots of fruit and density on the nose as well as resin and ink; lots of fruit evident on the palate – bags of ripe blackcurrant fruit which is oak influenced but much more impressive richness here than in Léoville Barton. Tannins rounder and overall harmonious wine. Chewy tannins but lots of fruit here and good length. Heads and shoulders the best wine of St Julien on the day. Drink 2018-2030 92+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep saturated look; very fine and pure on the nose; cassis; nice Cabernet; later opened up with a little more perfume; real focus here; lots of precision on the palate too; cassis again and real purity; density and purity; feels quite long haul potentially, certainly a little reticent over recent vintages. Good length. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot 6% Cabernet Franc 13.7% alc 93-95 [Tasted 2/4/12 at the Chateau] Deep and saturated; very tight to the rim; creamy, polished and sophisticated nose; some lift from the oak; tight and precise; vein of fruit with real concentration; palate very loaded and precise; some density and dryness here but plenty of fruit to back it up. Little dry [drier than sample at chateau] on the finish but grip and chew suggests the fruit will cover the tannin and oak. Nice chew. 92-94+ [tasted twice at UGC 3/4/12 and 5/4/12] Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
- 2010 Saturated and deep looking; creamy and full; very complete aromatically; evidences lots of depth; intense and inky on the palate with lots of depth and concentration; terrific balance here – will last for thirty years but already showing considerable harmony. Deep and considerable levels of extract and chew. Hot on the heels of the tremendous ’09 here. Drink 2018-2040. 97+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated in colour; blackcurrants, some cream; layers to the nose; also lift from the oak; leaf and blackcurrant freshness; very structured grippy palate with acid and extract; lots of blackcurrant fruit but there is a density here; chewy finish. Saturated and structured at the same time. Needs time. 93+ UGCB London Oct ’12 [Earlier] Dense and saturated to the rim; very creamy and real ripeness and bold; layered nose, some toast, but mainly cassis and blackcurrants; real density on the palate, concentrated and quite firm, real density to the wine. Lots of extract and density; real chew and length. Maybe stronger and more concentrated than 2009 but less hedonistic and knockout in my book. Excellent never the less. 94-96+/100 [61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. 14 alc, IPT 90] Tasted 4 April 2011 at Chateau Léoville Poyferré. [Second tasting ]Dense saturated colour; cream, blackcurrant ripeness and intensity – very attractive with freshness; palate very attractive, layered and ripe; density; attractive and tannic; grippy too. Lots of depth and concentration; very good length; long term; length. Excellent 94-96+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 at UGC. [Third tasting] Deep and dense, thick looking; very ripe and clean; lots of fabulous ripeness, good to taste again; very bright and alive; real freshness; lovely creamy wine, strong and full, lots of extract and tannin but lots of blackcurrant fruit. Great mid-palate. Really very good. The leading St Julien here? 95-97+/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 UGC
- 2009 Deep and saturated look; utterly seductive – incomparable creamy blackcurrant aromas – very, very opulent; lots of depth here – this is so, so seductive; blackcurrant fruit on the palate with delightful harmony; lots of material and layers but extremely well handled fruit – very, very polished. Lots of depth and length. This is surely perfect? Drink now [almost!] – 2040. 100 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; tight to edge; thick and brooding this has crept a bit into its shell since it’s knockout primeur days; very deep on the nose with cassis and blackcurrants; very polished; palate more open and seductive than the [currently] brooding nose suggests; great minerality and density and fab purity. Great chew and length on the finish. Better than Barton? Just different, more polished maybe but certainly another first growth equivalent. 97+/100 UGCB Oct ’11 [Earlier] Dense colour, tight to rim; great focus and ripeness on the nose; very precise flavours and dense; very, very good; very ripe here; some minerals, graphite and cassis; wonderful intensity and purity on the palate; simply loaded with fruit and layered with structure beneath; little tannic at the back but lots of layers of fruit here to support this. Excellent finish. Nearly 14 degrees. The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc% and 6% Petit Verdot. Terrific effort. 94-96+/100. Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
- 2008 Pretty deep and saturated looking; earth, blackcurrants; quite polished with a bit of lift; pure palate, quite strong fruit; not that seductive, more ballsy; little awkwardness at present; chewy and dense but hardness here. Disjointed phase but lots of potential. 90+ MW Institute Nov ’12 Dense, quite red/black; intense blackcurrant nose, cassis and oak; quite seductive; palate lush on entry with layers but also considerable tannin – both oak and fruit tannin – feels a bit disjointed at the end. Tannins quite dry and feels a bit extracted on the finish. Lots of fruit here though so should come together. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc]. 90-92/100 UGCB London Oct ’10
- 2007 Deep core; red fruits, tobacco and undergrowth; attractive spicy notes and polish; feels nice and open and already attractive; palate similarly round and approachable but with sufficient depth and fruit. Not at all hollow as some are. Very nicely handled. 91+/100 [Earlier] Mid red; sturdy savoury notes but cleaner than Gruaud Larose; followed by blackcurrants and spices; palate creamy and layered; blackcurrants. This is good to very good. The best wine so far from the commune in 2007. 90-92+/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
- 2006 Deep in the glass, tight to the edge, legs; blackcurrants and cassis, initially quite strong and pure – real depth here with intensity, but a little brooding too; good chewy palate with blackcurrants, extract, lots of acid and structure and tannin – pretty big and bold here – really lots of chewy tannin and extract and good grip. Impressive and quite pure in style. 92-94/100
- 2005 Dark at centre; red at edge; maturing; wonderful St Julien aromatics; top, top draw; cigar box; tobacco; spices and blackcurrant notes; approaching maturity on the nose; blackcurrants on the palate; spices and nicely intense; excellent length here with much still to reveal. Real density of extract but tannins ripe and sophisticated. Blackcurrant fruit on the finish. Terrific stuff! [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot]. Drink 2015-2035. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 96+
- 2001 Mid red, some earthy development; tobacco, golden Virginia and undergrowth notes, spices and meaty quality, savoury; similar tones dominate the palate; good acid and balance; plenty of extract; sweetness here and lots of chew and extract – savour. Good length at the back. Nice wine. 91/100
- 1966 Red brown; tremendous mature St Julien nose; tobacco, spices, cigar box; wonderful soft palate; fully mature with nice extract and tannin. Excellent 92/100 Apr ‘96
Chateau Moulin Riche, St Julien [separate St Julien entity to Poyferré]
- 2015 Mid depth; dark at centre; closed and a little reductive; stone and mineral quality here; richness in the middle palate; quite stone and mineral again; good acid; nice chew and grip. Some length. This needs 5-7 years minimum. [54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.3% alc, IPT 65, TA 3.25, pH 3.74, 48hl/ha]. Drink 2022-2028. 89-91+
- 2014 Mid depth; little loser at the rim; ripe seam of fruit on the nose; black cherry notes; minerality again; tautness – though more open a fraction than LP; opens up a bit in the glass; black cherry; graphite and cassis notes with some wood on the palate; wood needs to integrate; good length and matter; wood on the finish too. [53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 12.6% alc, IPT 70, TA 3.3, pH3.81]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Léoville Poyferré 30 March, 2015. 89-91+
- 2013 Deep and saturated colour; vibrant at the meniscus; intense, tight but focused on the nose; blackcurrant cassis; polished and creamy entry; wood a little dominant and acidity present. Grip. Should settle. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot]. Tasted 31/3/14 at Léoville-Poyferré. Drink 2017-2030. 86-88
- 2012 Mid depth; rich colour and looks polished; smoke, black fruits and layers to the nose; later blackcurrant, cassis and black cherry notes; more structure evident than in LP; feels string and dense with a chewy finish. Precision but not as much flesh evident as Léoville-Poyferré. 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 13.2% alc, IPT 73 pH: 3.8 88-90
- 2011 Deep colour, tight to the rim, silky refined note; cassis, wet stones and minerality; palate refined little dryness, oak and acid all evident; needs to meld. Wood tannin evident. Nice length overall. Feels a bit lean but well polished. 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot 13.1 alc Tasted 2/4/12 at Chateau Léoville Poyferré. 87-88 Apr ’12 UGC primeur tasting
- 2010 Deep and dense; very perfumed and intense; very clean; really intense; blackcurrants, very precise; cassis too; dense palate, quite firm; layers, rocks and minerals, dense. Good finish. Should fill out but feels a bit denser than the ’09 but less flamboyant. 88-90+/100 [59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot 13.5 alc 83 IPT] Tasted at Chateau Léoville Poyferré Tasted 4 April 2011
- 2009 Deep and saturated; legs; silky note on the nose; very supple and lots of layers; minerals but real creamy richness; very attractive and quite seductive but also has real density; layered palate, dense, minerals and earth, tannin at the back, firming up; real extract and richness. Chew and extract. This is very good 92+/100. UGC lunch at Poyferré.