2006 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien

SKU #1046801 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 ** Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2009 ** Right at the top of its form, this 2006 is one of the finest wines to come out of the vintage. The wine is structured and dense, but with such heartwarming ripe fruit that the tannins are almost submerged. There is just a hint of wood, but juicy black currant continues right through to the end. In a year, the fruit will lessen, and long aging begin.  (3/ 2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

 ** Top 100 Wines of 2009 ** There's a great dark color to this, with intense aromas of cedar, wood, new leather and crushed blackberry. Fullbodied,with loads of fruit and a firm, powerful palate. Long and mouthpuckering. A muscular baby.  (3/ 2009)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Not surprisingly, this wine is closed, masculine, but super-rich, with a denser, more complete and full-bodied style than its sibling, Langoa Barton. Some toasty vanillin is apparent in the black currant aromas intermixed with tobacco leaf, cedar, and spice box. The wine is full-bodied and has a boatload of tannin, not unusual for this estate, as well as an impressively pure, long finish. Everything is here, but this wine, made with uncompromising vision, is meant to be cellared for an exceptionally long period of time. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035.  (2/ 2009)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright ruby-red. Pretty aromas of black cherry, cassis, tobacco leaf, minerals, licorice and violet. Chewy, rich and deep, with good dense mid-palate fruit and excellent concentration. Fuller and sweeter than the Langoa. Finishes long and delineated, with powerful tannic clout and terrific mineral thrust. A serious 2006 for the cellar.  (6/ 2009)

K&L Notes

**++ Blackberry fruit. Deep and concentrated fruit that is layered. This is as good as their 2005 for my palate. Fine concentration and structure. Ralph Sands: Incredibly powerful and loaded with deep blueberry/blackberry/plum fruit that is masculine and traditional. It's also incredible that a wine this big is in harmony. The Barton magic at work again! In Bordeaux.

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Price: $89.99

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By: Clyde Beffa Jr. |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 8/21/2009  | Send Email
**++ Blackberry fruit. Deep and concentrated fruit that is layered. This is as good as their 2005 for my palate. Fine concentration and structure. (06/09)

By: Ralph Sands |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/13/2009  | Send Email
At our tasting bar last month, the topic of the powerful Ch. Léoville-Barton, the great second growth from St-Julien, was in the air even though the wine wasn’t being poured. Many agreed it was one of, if not the, most popular Bordeaux at K&L. Last month we poured their second wine, the 2006 Reserve de Léoville ($29.99) and the grand vin, the 2006 Léoville-Barton ($69.99). Both wines exhibited the classic qualities of the 2006 vintage in general—lots of brisk, high-toned fruit with zesty acidity and firm tannins. The ’06s offer great freshness and most will turn out to be classic clarets, and the 2006 Bartons are, without a doubt, the very best examples of this vintage, as the wines just have flat out more dark purple fruit and depth than almost any other wine. People adore them. I overheard comments like, “these wines are both great,” and, “this is why I buy this wine every year!” The grand vin ages until at least its 15th birthday; I drink the best vintages at 15- to 30-years-old.

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Saint Julien

- St. Julien, the smallest of the four famous appellations of the Haut Medoc, is known for highly extracted, finely structured, Cabernet-based reds. It is nestled between Pauillac to the north and Margaux to the south. Like St. Estephe, there are no first growths in this area. Leoville-las-Cases, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruard Larose are the second-growths of St. Julien followed by Lagrange which is the only third-growth. Beychevelle, Branaire Ducru, St. Pierre, and Talbot, which are all fourth-growth wines, round out the grand cru classe chateaux. In the last several vintages, wineries from this appellation have been out-performing their traditional rankings making many of the wines from this region some of the best values in red wine today.