2013 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel Sample. A powerful, structured wine, this is dominated by juicy Cabernet Sauvignon but with an aromatic edge from Cabernet Franc. The wine is rich for the vintage, yet with a fresh profile. Balanced, it is a stylish wine that shows a fine future.
The 2013 Léoville-las-Cases is wonderfully deep and layered in the glass. Violets, cloves, menthol and licorice add dimensions of complexity to the dark fruit. Hints of cassis, white flowers and sweet herbs develop later as the wine continues to flesh out. So many 2013s offer up their charms quite easily. Léoville-las-Cases is a rare wine endowed with a sense of mystery and intrigue. The power and breadth of this site come through, but tempered by the medium-bodied structure of the year. This is a terrific showing. The 2013 is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 12% Merlot. Tasted twice.
A touch taut, with a tobacco and cedar overlay to the racy red currant, plum and bitter cherry notes. Shows lovely austerity through the finish, presenting a long echo of cold fireplace. Distinctive.
A dense and rich young wine with licorice and spice character. Some tar too. Medium to full body, with firm tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Dense fruit structure for the vintage.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Better than many of the Medoc first-growths, the 2013 Las Cases was harvested relatively late, between October 2 and 17. It is a blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Only 40% of the production made it into the grand vin, and the finished alcohol was 13.1%. It reveals a dense ruby/purple color, supple tannins, good texture and depth, excellent freshness and intense dark currant and black cherry fruit notes. While not a blockbuster, it is a medium-bodied, well-endowed 2013 that should drink well for 10-15 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(74% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc and 12% merlot; 3.69 pH; 13% alcohol; 31 h/h; 85% new oak): Bright ruby-red. Very floral, minty red fruits and minerals on the captivating nose. Then tougher on the palate, with the spicy red fruit flavors kept under wraps by serious tannins and lively acidity. The bright, long finish features very pure floral and red berry nuances. Not the most charming LLC in memory, but a major success for the vintage. I especially like its lovely aromatic nose, which owes a lot to the strong cabernet franc presence, one of the largest percentages ever in this wine (at 50+ years, LLC has some especially old cabernet franc vines, and that makes a big difference on the Left Bank). Keep in mind that the 2008 also had a similarly high percentage of cabernet franc (12%), and I believe that this wine is also one of the stars of its vintage.