2020 Château Léoville Las Cases, St Julien, Bordeaux

2020 Château Léoville Las Cases, St Julien, Bordeaux

Product: 20208007922
Prices start from £1,188.00 per case Buying options
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2020 Château Léoville Las Cases, St Julien, Bordeaux

Description

A subtle intensity where the power steals up on you through the palate - this is an excellent example of what Las Cases can deliver. Intellectual, concentrated and reined in for the foreseeable future. You get the full array of serious St-Julien character - pencil lead, cigar box, cassis bud, bilberry, earth and granite-edged tannins, this needs time. Very little press wine was used because this has such a plainly evident natural intensity. Needs time, but knowing how this estate is a slow burner even in generous vintages, you are going to need a lot of patience for this vintage to reach its drinking window. Impressive, not yet showing its heart. May be upscored once in bottle. This is 1% less than 2018 and 0.5% less than in 2019 in terms of alcohol. 3.65pH. A yield of 34hl/ha.

Drink from 2029 to 2045

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021)

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Find out more.
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Case format
Availability
Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 15 cases £1,188.00
En Primeur Limited availability
En Primeur Limited availability

Critics reviews

Jane Anson96/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-98/100
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
Wine Advocate96-98/100
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
James Suckling98-99-100
Jeb Dunnuck95-97+/100
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Jane Anson96/100
A subtle intensity where the power steals up on you through the palate - this is an excellent example of what Las Cases can deliver. Intellectual, concentrated and reined in for the foreseeable future. You get the full array of serious St-Julien character - pencil lead, cigar box, cassis bud, bilberry, earth and granite-edged tannins, this needs time. Very little press wine was used because this has such a plainly evident natural intensity. Needs time, but knowing how this estate is a slow burner even in generous vintages, you are going to need a lot of patience for this vintage to reach its drinking window. Impressive, not yet showing its heart. May be upscored once in bottle. This is 1% less than 2018 and 0.5% less than in 2019 in terms of alcohol. 3.65pH. A yield of 34hl/ha.

Drink from 2029 to 2045

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous95-98/100
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases comes across as a super-classic Saint-Julien that combines mid-weight structure of previous decades, with the greater textural finesse that has become the norm here in recent years. A shy introvert, the 2020 Las Cases won’t impress with size or brawn as is often the case, but with a total sense of finesse. Readers with classically leaning palates will flip out over the 2020. I can't wait to watch it evolve, hopefully for many decades to come. It is certainly one of the standouts of the year at this point.

Drink from 2035 to 2060

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
The 2020 Léoville–Las Cases was picked September 12–29 and matured in 80% new oak with 13.68° alcohol. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in the driving seat on the nose, offering almost saturnine black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar, perhaps one of the most Pauillac-like bouquets that I have noticed on this wine out of barrel, which is no surprise considering its vines adjoin that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied, strict and linear at first, that Pauillac tincture the continuing theme thanks to conspicuous graphite/pencil lead notes interwoven into the black fruit. There is plenty of freshness here and impressive weight, yet no sense of heaviness toward the finish.

Drink from 2030 to 2070

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate96-98/100
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, aging in 80% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.68%, a pH of 3.8 and an IPT (tannins index) of 79. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Merlot from the 12th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 18th and 19th of September. With an opaque purple-black color, it slowly unfurls to reveal beguiling notes of fresh blackcurrants, Morello cherries, candied violets and dark chocolate, giving way to an undercurrent of crushed rocks, unsmoked cigars, clove oil and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate is a powerhouse of energy, delivering tightly wound red and black fruits, mineral and floral layers, supported by fantastic tension and incredibly ripe, silt-like tannins. The finish has jaw-dropping fragrance and depth. 

Drink 2026 - 2061

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18/20
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot. Cask sample. Very deep colour. Dense and reserved with an abundance of dark, ripe fruit. Tannins really very fine, providing length and persistence but no aggression. A measured wine with good concentration and a saline freshness but without the muscle seen some years. More St-Julien than Pauillac this year. 

Drink 2030 - 2050

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling98-99-100
This is incredibly classic in style with so much currant, lead pencil, crushed stone and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with minerally, stoney and powerful tannins. It goes on and one. Real Las Cases here. Solid as a rock. Progresses to violet, graphite and liquorice at the end.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck95-97+/100
The flagship 2020 Château Léoville Las Cases checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot, raised in 80% new French oak. Hitting 13.68% in alcohol with a Ph of 3.8 and an IPT of 79, it shows the dense, concentrated, focused style of the vintage and it's going to be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Deep purple-hued, with an incredible sense of minerality in its blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, it's full-bodied, has a rich, layered mid-palate, lots of tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine and holds onto the more inward, concentrated style of the vintage while still showing serious depth of fruit. It's going to take a decade (or more) of bottle age to get anywhere close to the early stages of maturity but will keep for 30-40 years.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster94-96/100
Dense to smell, clearly gravelly, freshly black-fruit ripe; fairly full, but in no way heavy, fairly concentrated, but not strongly so, with a fresh defining acidity and a very fine-grained tannin, a lovely dense “midweight” impression, not a particularly “big” wine (not 1986, not 2010), just a beautiful, complete balance; moderately deep, freshly sweet, long across the palate, graceful, refined, complex, aromatic, satisfying, and with great length to finish. Gorgeous wine. Everything there at a slightly lower dynamic. Superb. And likely accessible relatively early for Las Cases, so fine are the tannins.

Drink 2030 - 2050

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

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.

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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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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.

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