2001 Jean Leon Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Penedes

SKU #1087695 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Roasted and still robust 10 years after harvest, with aromas of grilled meat, fall leaves, tobacco and herbs. It’s round on the palate, with heat and slightly herbal and roasted core flavors surrounded by berry and pepper. A mature and interesting single-vineyard Cabernet from northeast Spain.  (11/2011)

K&L Notes

Jean Leon is a legendary figure in the world of Spanish wine. A young Spanish immigrant from Santander, Leon worked his way up in the US restaurant industry, eventually opening up La Scala in Hollywood with James Dean as his partner. In 1963, he would return to his native Spain, to Penedes (just north of Barcelona) to be exact, to establish a world class winery. Using cuttings from La Lagune and Lafite-Rothschild, Jean Leon's cabs quickly developed a devoted following inside Spain and beyond. These days, the vineyards are farmed sustainably, and all vineyard work as well as harvesting is done by hand. Rich, intensely fruited and still rather primary, this cab promises many years of development in bottle.

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Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/15/2012 | Send Email
One of the cabernets recently poured in our Blind Tasting Challenge here in Redwood City, this sexy little number is hitting its stride at 11 years old! Many folks could not figure out that this was from Spain, and almost won the challenge! Stewed red cherry, hints of blackberry, saddle leather, and warm sandalwood spice. Medium plus acidity with fine, well-integrated tannins. A beautiful alternative for those seeking a different expression of their beloved aged cabnernet.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.