Red, For laying down

2015 Ch. Léoville-Poyferré, St Julien

2015 Ch. Léoville-Poyferré, St Julien

Red | For laying down | Chateau Leoville Poyferre | Code: 38045 | 2015 | France > Bordeaux > St Julien | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

16.5/20

DECANTER

95/100

WA

92-94/100

JANCIS

16.5+/20

SUCKLING

95-96/100

DECANTER - Lovely concentration of fruit already showing excellent florality, purity and density. Robustly elegant in the Poyferré style – ‘juicy and silky’, according to owner Didier Cuvelier. This is one for the long term.
Drink: 2022-2045
Steven Spurrier - decanter.com - April 2016

WA - The 2015 Léoville Poyferré is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc that was harvested between 24 September and 10 October. The IPT comes in at 80 with a pH 3.69. It has a typical Léoville-Poyferré bouquet at this stage: quite bullish and forthright, packed full of dense black cherries, red plum and cassis, the 85% new oak pronounced, but will be subsumed with bottle age. The palate is full-bodied with mouth-coating tannin: layers of graphite-infused black fruit, cedar and mint, almost Pauillac-like in personality with a sustained graphite finish. This is a sophisticated Saint Julien built for long-term ageing, perhaps less flamboyant than recent vintages, but the terroir shows through. Expect it to land at the top of my banded score, possibly higher.
Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate #224 - April 2016

JANCIS - Deep purple. Glowing. Flattering nose but without the undertow of some. Lots of energy and just a hint of sweet oak. A solid performance.
Drink 2026-2040
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - Apr 2016

SUCKLING - A dense and savory red with plenty of phenolic texture and ripe fruit character. Hints of walnut and spice too. Chewy finish. Solid center palate.
James Suckling - jamessuckling.com - Apr 2016

The Producer

Chateau Leoville Poyferre

Chateau Leoville Poyferre

Château Léoville Poyferré was the Léoville that got left in the starting blocks in terms of reputation and in the quality of its wines.

Léoville Poyferré has been owned by the Cuvelier family (who also own Château Le Crock) since 1921, yet it was not until the 1970s, when Didier Cuvelier took control at the château, that quality began to improve. In the last 20 years, Didier, with the assistance of Michel Rolland since 1995, has turned Léoville-Poyferré into one of St-Julien's finest estates.

Léoville Poyferré has 80 hectares of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Petit Verdot (8%) and Cabernet Franc (2%).

Léoville Poyferré traditionally produced the softest and most supple wine of the 3 Léovilles, yet in the last decade the wines have definitely put on weight and body. This is largely due to the grapes being harvested riper and later and because of the increased exposure to new oak in the maturation process.

Now up with the best of the St-Juliens but still selling at non-scary prices. Léoville Poyferré is classified as a 2ème Cru Classé.

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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