Red, For laying down

2012 Clos du Marquis, St Julien

2012 Clos du Marquis, St Julien

Red | For laying down | Chateau Leoville Las Cases | Code: 17264 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St Julien | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

16.5/20

DECANTER

17.5/20

JANCIS

16.5/20

PARKER

91-93/100

WS

88-91/100

DECANTER - Dense colour, floral richness and density from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, very fine St-Julien.
Steven Spurrier, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Dark purple. Sweet start. Friendly and very very Cabernet – lots of cassis. A Las Cases attempt at openness! Which is still very taut!
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, 23 Apr 2013

PARKER - The wine is pure with lots of creme de cassis, crushed rock and vanillin characteristics in its long, medium to full-bodied personality. Given the fact that this vineyard was once part of the larger Leoville Las Cases estate, it is no surprise that it is similar to its more famous as well as more expensive cousin. A strong effort in this vintage, it should drink well for 15-20 years.

A brilliant effort from Jean-Hubert Delon, Clos du Marquis is now an entirely separate estate from Leoville Las Cases and its second wine, Le Petit Lion. The outstanding 2012 Clos du Marquis is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc and came in at 13.5% natural alcohol. About 50% new oak is used.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Light but lively, with damson plum and cherry fruit, showing a lightly briary edge on the finish.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Producer

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Château Léoville Las Cases is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Médoc. It is the largest of the 3 Léoville properties and now without doubt the leading estate in St-Julien.

Léoville Las Cases's 97 hectares of vineyards are superbly sited on gravelly-clay soils with the largest plot being surrounded by a stone wall and stretching between the village of St-Julien and Château Latour. The wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend (65%), and is matured in oak barriques (70-80% new) for 18 months.

Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most exotically perfumed wine in the Médoc and this can be partially attributed to the must being fermented at lower than average temperatures, which leads to its youthful aromatic richness being retained. On the palate it is powerful and concentrated and marvellously well-balanced.

Léoville Las Cases is a 2ème Cru Classé in name but produces 1er Cru Classé quality wines.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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