The 2016 Moulin Riche, the second wine from Léoville Poyferré, comes from a completely separate 21-hectare vineyard. It has quite a punchy bouquet of high-toned black fruit laced with licorice and light violet aromas; there’s something almost raucous that I like here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity and a pleasant saltiness that manifests as black olive tapenade on the aftertaste. Classic Bordeaux from the Cuvelier family.
Drink 2021 - 2032
Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019)
In 2016 Moulin Riche is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, vibrant and full of energy, the 2016 is impressive today. The wine appears to have shed some baby fat and gained in aromatic complexity over the last two years. Sweet red-toned fruit, rose petal, mint and chalk lend understatement to the classy, mid-weight Saint-Julien. The 2016 was bottled at the end of May (earlier than many other Left Bank wines) and might be entering a period of closure. Still, I find a lot to admire.
Drink 2021 - 2036
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (Jan 2019)
The 2016 Moulin Riche is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 11% Petit Verdot and matured in 30% new oak. It had a very opulent, ravishing bouquet with perhaps just a little more volatile acidity than some of its peers, although that will be contained by the time it is in bottle (it is not something that particularly bothers me in a wine's infancy). The palate is very smooth on the entry with succulent black cherries and black plums, a smear of vanilla and a gentle grip on the minerally finish. This will be a seductive Deuxime vin that should give a decade's worth of drinking pleasure.
Drink 2021 - 2034
Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Apr 2017)
A lovely warm ganache edge guides the core of inviting steeped plum and blackberry fruit along. Reveals a light graphite hint through the fleshy finish. A very tasty wine in the making.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Apr 2017)
This shows focus and precision with currant, dark-berry and basil-leaf character on both the nose and palate. Full-bodied, tight and precise. Try after 2022.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Feb 2019)
This is a lovely second wine with a high tannin index of around 90IPT, but again this showcases the silky balancing act that St-Julien has pulled off this vintage. The blend is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot. Excellent quality.
Drink 2027 - 2050
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (Apr 2017)
About this WINE
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 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.
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.
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.