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Château Léoville Barton is the smallest portion of the great Léoville estate and has been owned by the Barton family since 1826. There is no château and the wine is made at Langoa Barton.
Léoville Barton's 48 hectares of vineyards are located in the east of the St-Julien wine appellation and lie on gravelly-clay soils. They are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon 72%, Merlot 20%, Cabernet Franc 8%. The wine is matured in oak barriques (50% new) for 18 months.
Since Anthony Barton took over the reins from his Uncle Ronald in the mid 80s, quality has soared at Léoville Barton and the wine has gone from being a solid mid-league performing 2ème Cru Classé to one of the most exciting and scintillating wines in St. Julien.
Léoville Barton is tannic and austere in youth but with time develops the classic cedary character that is the hallmark of St. Julien, along with intensely pure blackcurrant and cassis fruit notes. Léoville Barton's wines are made for extended cellaring and tend to show at their best with 10-15 years of bottle ageing.
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Very much the epitome of an English gentleman, the charming Anthony Barton must be one of the most reasonable proprietors in Bordeaux. Year after year he leads the quest for prices to come down; if only other châteaux owners would follow suit! The 2008 is loaded with massive, chewy tannins that coat the mouth while the underlying essence of dark, brooding blackcurrant fruit is perfectly complemented by notes of coffee and chocolate. It will take many years for the complexity and depth of this wine to shine through but the long, fulfilling finish is an indication of just how good it will become. This will be a force to be reckoned with when fully mature.
Bottle 12 x 75cl
Magnum 6 x 150cl
As ever, the urbane Antony Barton is the voice of reason in 2007: prices must come down but we should not forget that 2007 has yielded some very good wines. His Léoville-Barton is convincing proof of that! More feminine than usual with lovely charm and finesse, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated (70%) wine has harmonious, focused black cherry and blackberry fruit supported by firm but supple tannins and an impressive minerality. Creamy and restrained it has the cedar and leather notes of great St Julien. Like a finely tailored bespoke suit, this Léoville-Barton is perfectly judged and as classy as ever.
Once again a deep, dense wine, Ch. Léoville Barton’s 2009 massively concentrated with dark, hedgerow fruit and ripe, but refreshingly firm tannins. An earthy complexity and savoury hint of oak mingle with the fruit on the palate. This will be a wine to keep for many a long year but it will be well worth the wait.
Bottle 6 x 75cl
A huge wine. The stunningly complex and perfumed nose has a aromas of pure berry fruit, mocha, spice and reviving minerality, combined with the richness evident in the Langoa. The palate is at the same time exuberantly rich and enticing as well as being demurely delicate and fresh with an astoundingly long length. The great structure implies that this will require some patience. This is a superbly sexy Leoville Barton that has a certain "wow" factor and is a cellar must-have. Fine Wine Team, Oct 2008 This is a powerful brooding Léoville-Barton. As classy as ever, it has lots of everything - fruit, tannins and acidity - all in perfect balance. There is an exciting mineral tension to the taut, concentrated wild blackberry and cedar flavours, reflecting both the elegant, classic character of 2006 as well as St Julien's inimitable style. Another very good result for the Barton clan. (Simon Staples, Fine Wine Director, June 2007
There can surely be few other estates in Bordeaux that are as consistently brilliant as Léoville-Barton. This is incredibly classy, with very concentrated, rich, restrained black fruits, and hints of cedar, minerals and cigar box. It is all in absolutely perfect balance with a wonderful freshness and sublime elegance amid lashings of fruit and very fine tannins. Amazing stuff.
Anthony Barton was not over-estimating this wine when he compared it to his outstanding 1996 - it is unquestionably of super Second Growth quality. With its more masculine style, this is always the star performer of the Barton brace and the 2004 expresses all that is best about this aristocratic estate. The nose is very fine and displays multi-faceted, lively fruit characteristics.The palate is dense with delicious, ripe, complex blackcurrant fruit and a fabulous, long, cool finish. This is a resounding success for the Barton family and is undoubtedly one of the star wines of the vintage.
The style of this vintage is perfectly suited to Léoville-Barton. Always the epitome of elegance and breed, the wine in 2010 embodies the classical proportions of the vintage with a lovely harmony between fruit, acidity, tannin and alcohol. It is certainly destined for a long life, so put it away for 15 years at least, by which time it will be extremely rewarding. (77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22.5% Merlot, and 0.5% Cabernet Franc)
I haven’t bought Ch. Langoa Barton or Ch. Léoville-Barton for my own cellar since 2005 and I wonder why. It is not because they have been ‘aggressive’ in their pricing policy, far from it, they are consistently being harangued by their neighbours to dramatically put their prices up. Then is it the quality? No, again both have been perfectly ‘sound’, ah but that’s it! Over the last few years they haven’t stood out from the crowd enough. This year they both do, and I think the simple reason is the style of the vintage. It is not a flamboyant, dramatic vintage like 2009 or 2010. It is classic and that is why classic wine makers have come to the fore and ended up back on my shopping list again. Ch. Langoa Barton, the feminine seductress, using its sweet, dense red fruit core to entrap and entice. Ch. Léoville-Barton in contrast, a yang to Langoa’s yin. Rich, dense, unforgiving, powerful black fruit dominant. This is a really profound brace this year. Simon Staples, Berrys’ Fine Wine Director
"Closed in with only hints of fruit in evidence now. Brilliantly crafted modern style. Rich carpet of fruit with encompassing fine tannins. Serious wine. 5-12 years. 5 Stars." Hugo Rose - Decanter - Apr-2005
Léoville-Barton has produced another truly superb wine in 2001. With pure, spicy fruit in perfect harmony with creamy oak and ripe tannins, this tautly-structured wine is Claret at its very best.