2010 Ch. Léoville-Barton, St Julien

2010 Ch. Léoville-Barton, St Julien

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau Leoville Barton | Code: 7778 | 2010 | France > Bordeaux > St Julien | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£475.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£480.00

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£1,000.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

16.5/20

DECANTER

18.5/20

JANCIS

17.5+/20

PARKER

96+/100

WS

94-97/100

DECANTER - Fine concentration, quite understated at the start, then the purity and depth of fruit, classical Leoville Barton firm texture and length becomes plain, a wine that repays keeping.
Steven Spurrier – Decanter – Apr 2011

JANCIS - Black with a purple edge. Less obviously aromatic than the Langoa 2010. Drier but still very ripe and voluptuous. Tea leaves and a savoury note. Real energy. This should be a very long-term player.

Tasted blind 8 Apr: Still lots of blue in the colour here. Scented and mineral. Relatively lightweight. Bone dry. A bit austere at the moment. Makes me think that these 2010s need a fair amount of weight to work? Quite long though. This wine may overtake Langoa in the long term but is certainly less expressive at this stage.
Jancis Robinson MW- jancis robinson.com, Apr 2011

PARKER - A splendid showing, much stronger from bottle than it was from barrel, the Leoville Barton is one of the spectacular wines of the vintage. Inky purple to the rim, its huge tannin gives this wine real potential for 30-50 years of longevity. It is a classic, powerful Bordeaux made with no compromise. A superstar of the vintage, the wine has notes of pen ink and creme de cassis, good acidity, sweet, subtle oak, and massive extraction and concentration. I thought it was one of the most backward wines of the vintage two years ago, and nothing has changed in the ensuing upbringing of the wine in cask except that the wine now seems even richer, denser and fuller than I previously thought. The beautiful purity, symmetry, and huge finish of nearly a minute make this one of the all-time great classics from Leoville Barton.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- Feb 2013

The 2010 Leoville Barton was almost impossible to evaluate because of its highly extracted, masculine, muscular style. However, it exhibits a dense purple color along with surprising amounts of oak, excruciatingly painful tannin levels, good acidity and a massive mouthfeel. One of the biggest, most backward wines of the vintage, forget it for a decade and drink it over the following 30+ years. Unfortunately, I have passed the age where it makes sense to buy a wine such as this.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011

WS - Dark and winey, with a terrific core of plum and macerated black currant fruit woven with a note of black cherry reduction. Tarry but polished. Grippy but velvety. And plenty long.
James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Mar 2011

The Story

Chateau Leoville Barton

Producer

Chateau Leoville Barton

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.

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.

Region

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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