The MW Institute’s Annual Claret tasting of over one hundred top chateaux held last November was a good opportunity to assess how the 2010 Bordeaux vintage is developing. There is no doubt that this is a great vintage for many reds. It has been pretty consistent from cask to bottle, a vintage generally much more classical than the precocious and forward 2009, but of similarly prodigious quality. Taken together these two vintages make an exceptional back-to-back duo for Bordeaux, especially so on the Left Bank and in Pessac-Léognan. The same can also be said for Sauternes and Barsac. Pomerol and St Emilion once again have made many excellent wines in 2010, often extremely well endowed and big framed, though sometimes too much so in St Emilion when they nudge sixteen degrees.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Léoville Barton’
2012 has produced mid-weight, neat and polished wines in St Julien that are relatively restrained. There is more flesh here than in 2011, a vintage that was leaner and more angular at the same stage, and there is more generosity too in 2012 than in 2013. The appellation is pretty homogeneous [as you’d expect] with Château Léoville Poyferré and Château St Pierre as the standouts amongst the wines shown. Château Gruaud Larose also continues a good run of recent form whilst Château Léoville Barton is classically fresh and bracing.
For me St Julien performed better than expected in 2013. Things were a little drier here than elsewhere in the Médoc and perhaps this, combined with the typical homogeneity of the appellation, has made the wines close to satisfying. Depending on the estate, the quality probably lies somewhere between the 2011 and 2007 vintages, perhaps even toward 2008 in a few cases. Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Château Léoville Poyferré and Château Ducru-Beaucaillou top the appellation. There are good efforts too from siblings Château Léoville Barton and Château Langoa Barton, as well as Château Branaire-Ducru. Overall there’s plenty of grip and sap to the wines, some are chewy currently, but in general they should work out in the medium term.
St Julien has produced a number of sensational wines in 2009. The best have tremendous power, richness and wonderfully ripe tannin. All three Léovilles are terrific, though very, very different. Château Léoville-Las-Cases is a giant with tremendous depth and power. Château Léoville Poyferré feels genuinely perfect. It is already spellbindingly seductive. Château Léoville Barton has great purity and depth. It is incredibly fresh and very long. It needs a decade in the cellar for sure but it remains at a bargain price compared to the others.