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. The fruit is harvested by hand. The fermentation vessels include a fascinating mix of wooden, cement and stainless steel vats. When finished the wine is pumped to the barrel cellar. Here it is transferred into oak barrique, between 50% and 100% new for the grand vin, depending on the vintage.
'The 2005 Léoville Las Cases is a classic that numbers among the wines of the vintage in the Médoc. Wafting from the glass with notes of dark berries, cassis, incense, burning embers, sweet soil tones, dark chocolate and cigar wrapper, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a vibrant core of fruit, lively acids and sweet, powdery tannins. More elegant and refined than the hulking, uncompromising 2006, the 2005 is nevertheless a powerful, tightly wound wine that will reward further bottle age, even if it's actually quite expressive today.'98 points, William Kelley