2011 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
Great swathes of fruit cross the tannic core in this impressive wine. Hints of wood aging peek out from beneath the sumptuous richness and spice. It is ripe, dense and obviously set for long aging. Drink from 2018.
A sleek, refined wine with blueberry, mineral and dried-flower character. Medium to full body with firm tannins. Bright and racy. Better in 2018.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Opaque purple-ruby. Spicy coffee and cocoa notes complicate plum and blackberry aromas. Fresh and pure on the palate, with enticing blackberry and mineral flavors that could use a bit more flesh and sweetness. Finishes pure and long, with mouthwatering acidity, chewy tannins and a light herbal quality. This very serious Léoville-Barton will make an austere drink if it doesn't develop more fruit and flesh.
This has some slightly rugged grip, with a prominent charcoal frame. Delivers ample flesh at the core, offering plum cake, currant preserves and smoldering tobacco leaf notes, offset by a tangy hint of anise. Should settle in well enough after modest cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2026.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Firmly structured, dense and medium-bodied with moderate tannin, this austere and backward yet well-endowed 2011 needs 5-7 years of bottle age. Whether the fruit holds up to the tannic structure remains to be seen, but the dark ruby/purple color, purity and impressive depth as well as concentration augur well for future positive development. Forget this 2011 for 5-6 years and drink it over the following 15-20.