2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
*#3 on Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2012* A major success of the vintage. The wine exhibits extreme richness of the fruit, with all its sweet blackberry flavors. It also has underlying firm structure, density and solid tannins. Bring in the acidity at the end, and this is both impressive and ready for long-term aging.
Very floral, with fresh mushrooms and currants on the nose. Full body, with powerful tannins, yet polished and refined. Lovely length. Vibrant acidity. Well structured. Try after 2018.
*#6 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2012* This is powerful Cabernet, with gutsy weight, but polished feel to the fresh plum, warm blackberry sauce, bittersweet ganache and roasted apple wood notes. Long and tarry through the finish, but still invigorating despite its heft. Will need some time to round fully into form. Best from 2017 through 2035. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Head and shoulders above its stablemate, Langoa Barton, proprietor Anthony Barton’s 2009 Leoville Barton is another massive, excruciatingly rich, tannic, potentially long-aged wine. Meant for consumers with old fashioned tastes, it boasts a dense opaque purple color as well as a bouquet of licorice, forest floor, unsmoked cigar tobacco and a hint of earth. The wine reveals tremendous denseness and richness, a broad, savory mouthfeel and elevated tannins in the finish. However, there is a sweetness to the tannins and no trace of bitterness and astringency, always a sign of a top vintage as well as fully mature grapes. Still a monolithic baby, this 2009 should be forgotten for at least a decade, and consumed over the next 30-50 years. (93+, RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Red- and blackcurrant, licorice, chocolate mint and sexy oak tones on the nose. Dense, solidly built and youthfully backward, with strong acidity and a medicinal quality leavening the sweetness of this plush, seamless wine. Most impressive today on the very long finish, which features a firm spine of dusty tannins, hints of cedary oak and dark chocolate, and lovely lift. Should evolve positively over the next two decades.
Perfumed. Seductive. Dense and powerful. Very intense and ambitious indeed. Well-managed tannins. Glossy. Very dry at the moment. 18/20 points.