2010 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
*Cellar Selection* A hugely powerful wine, full of dark, brooding tannins. It’s a wine for seriously long-term aging, a sculptural vision of classic Bordeaux structure with with classy, ripe blackberry fruits. It has fresh acidity and an immense full-bodied character, cut through with mineral acidity. A great wine, with great potential.
The aromas to this wine have a beautiful purity of raspberries, blueberries, currants, and flowers that follow to a a full body, with super integrated tannins that are like the finest silk in texture. It shows elegant and pretty fruit character and a reserve and finesse of such great years as 1989 and 1995. The bright strong acidity gives a crunchy and creamy texture. This has a tiny bit more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than 2009. Give it at least six to eight years of bottle age.
*Collectibles* Stunning and pure from the get-go, with intense cassis and blackberry fruit. Ultimately takes a slightly austere approach, with a wrought-iron structure driving along while pastis, black tea, licorice snap and asphalt notes course underneath. Long and loaded with grip, this remains remarkably fine-grained. A very chiseled Cabernet that is wonderfully precise and incredibly long. Best from 2020 through 2040.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a blend of 82% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot and 8% cabernet franc; 74 IPT; 3.56 pH; 75% new oak; 13.7% alcohol) Deep ruby with purple highlights. Sexy, classic, captivating cabernet sauvignon aromas of blackcurrant, graphite and cedar complicated by minerals. Silky-sweet, fine-grained and almost gentle on entry, with well-integrated acidity contributing to an impression of finesse. Then dense and firm in the mid-palate, with rich, brooding cassis, gunflint and mineral flavors. This is considerably less showy today than the 2009 was at a similar stage of development, conveying a more austere aspect to its dark fruit flavors. Finishes pure, seamless and very long, with incredibly silky tannins. How Jean-Hubert Delon manages to get tannins this sweet and smooth every vintage is beyond me.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
96+ points. The 2010 is a quintessentially elegant, classic wine of Bordeaux -- firm, rigid, perhaps slightly lighter than most of the other St.-Juliens, but stylish, potentially complex, and reminiscent of the style of the 1986, but more concentrated and powerful. It is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc with a normal pH of 3.56. It was raised in 75% new oak and the alcohol came to 13.7%. This wine displays loads of black currants, cedar wood and vanillin, but needs a good 7-8 years of cellaring, if not much longer. It should last for 30+ years. What I like about tasting at Las Cases is that Jean-Hubert Delon opens one bottle in my presence, and has another already decanted four hours in advance to compare. It is nearly unanimous on each visit that the decanted wine shows better, which probably gives you some insight into the aging potential of Las Cases. It is certainly one of Bordeaux’s longest-lived wines, and seems to have more and more of a character resembling Lafite Rothschild more than its nearby neighbor, Chateau Latour.
Excellent deep crimson. Very introvert and very dry. Super-sweet start and initially seems much rounder and less obdurate than usual. Though those dry tannins certainly creep up on you at the end! Some silkiness and glorying in the special ripeness of the Cabernet in this wine. Very dry end. Not that long funnily enough. A certain transparency that is not usually there. 17.5/20 points.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc.