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. It is considered one of the 'Super Seconds', a group of exceptional 2nd Growths and its quality over the past two decades has it considered a worthy equal to the 1st Growths.
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 2019 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 11% Merlot. Harvest began early for the Merlot, on the 18th of September, and the Cabernets were picked in October, finishing on the 8th of October. The IPT number (measurement of tannins) is 80—the same as 2018. The alcohol came at 14.02% (lower than 2018), but it does seem a little lower than this percentage, probably because the pH is a little lower this year, at 3.67. It is aging in French oak barriques, 90% new. The color is opaque purple-black, with a nose that unfurls slowly in the glass, beginning with vibrant, expressive black fruit notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, ripe blackberries and fresh black cherries, followed by a beguiling array of floral and earth nuances—candied violets, lavender, fragrant soil, underbrush, crushed rocks and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied wine dances ever so gracefully on the palate, demurely revealing tightly wound layers of of bright, crunchy black fruits and tantalizing floral and mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid structure of firm, finely grained tannins and fantastic tension, finishing with epic persistence. Although the style is completely different, the barrel sample is behaving a lot like the Haut-Brion sample was when I tasted it, in that it appears to be holding just that little bit extra back right now. I have to call it as I see it today, but I wouldn't be surprised if when I come back to taste this from bottle, it shows me all that and a lot more. 97-99 Lisa Perotti-Brown
The 2019 Léoville Las-Cases was picked from 18 September to 8 October and matured in 90% new oak barrels. Typically deep and limpid in colour, it has a knockout nose with penetrating blackberry, bilberry and blueberry fruit struck through with an accentuated marine/oyster shell element. The palate is beautiful, the fine-grain tannins framing delineated, mineral-infused black fruit. There is a clarity to this Grand Vin that places it amongst Jean-Hubert Delon's finest releases in recent years and it is blessed with astounding length. You come away with the feeling of a nascent wine boasting immense coiled-up energy that will guarantee its longevity. Stunning. 96-98 Neal Martin
The 2019 Léoville Las-Cases is a gorgeous, sophisticated wine. Deep and beautifully layered, the 2019 has remarkable depth and simply impeccable balance. Here, too, the integration of fruit, tannin and acidity is simply remarkable, especially for such a young wine. In so many vintages, Las Cases can be a brute, but the 2019 is incredibly polished. If anything, it is uncharacteristically shy at this stage. The 2019 saw 3-4 weeks on the skins, with malolactic fermentation in tank. Press wine is 6.5%, which is on the lower end for Las Cases. The wine was barreled down in December, fully blended. 94-96 Galloni