Château Léoville Las Cases
Classification: Second Growth (2ème Cru Classé)
Château Léoville Las Cases was once part of a much larger estate until the time of the French Revolution when a portion of this estate was separated into what is today: Château Léoville Barton, Château Léoville Poyferré and Château Léoville Las Cases. Léoville Las Cases is the largest of these 3 châteaux and is now without doubt the leading estate in Saint Julien. The Delon family have owned it since the mid 20th century and have run the estate now for 5 generations. The largest plot of Léoville Las Cases' 209 acres of vines is a walled vineyard known as the Grand Clos, which is located in northern Saint Julien with only the Juillac tributary separating its vineyards from those of Château Latour in Pauillac. Originally Château Léoville Las Cases was part of the Mont Moytié estate, the mont being the gravel mound rising above the tidal marshes on which the Château stood. It was the Moytié family that were the first to plant vines here, during the twilight of the 17th Century. Even at this early point in the history of the Médoc, Léoville was recognised as being second only to the four accepted first growths, (Châteaux Latour, Lafite, Margaux and Haut Brion).
Château Léoville Las Cases vineyards are planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. They lie on the well draining Garonne gravel and alluvial clay deposited by the river. The Grand Clos vineyard has an impressive stone gateway surmounted by the lion of Las Cases as the entrance to its vineyard and this is depicted on the label of the bottled wines.
Château 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. The wine is Cabernet Sauvignon dominated and is dark, intense and concentrated. It is a tannic and richly fruity wine that takes over 10-15 years to mature.
Owner: Jean Hubert Delon (also owns Château Potensac)
Château Website: www.domaines-delon.com
Oenologist: J & E Boissenot