2011 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. This wine is immensely dark, powered by black plum and a ripe, complex structure; its elements are already molding into place. Expect great things of this wine.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the thrilling successes of the vintage is, not surprisingly, the 2011 Leoville Las Cases. Analytically, this ripe wine has statistical numbers that are almost identical to their 2010. The fruit was cropped at 27 hectoliters per hectare, the wine aged in 80% new French oak, and the final blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc came in at 13.4% natural alcohol. It boasts an opaque inky/purple color along with gloriously pure aromas of creme de cassis, black raspberries, vanillin and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied with abundant glycerin and ripe but noticeable tannin, this beauty is potentially one of the longest lived and finest wines of the vintage. It should be drinkable in 5-6 years and last for 2-3 decades. (93-95+)
*Collectibles* This has some toast to shed, but retains a terrific core of crushed plum and blackberry confiture. There's a beautiful ripple of charcoal for texture, with honest acidity for balance and a bolt of iron that keeps this firmly grounded. A brick-house Cabernet. Best from 2018 through 2030.
Intense aromas of currants and blackberries with minerals. Full body, with an serious density for the vintage, and racy tannin and acidity. It goes on very long. Reminds me a little of 1996. Very classic style.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(76% cabernet sauvignon and 12% each merlot and 12% cabernet franc; 26 hectoliters per hectare): Good deep red. Outstanding verve to the aromas of raspberry, white pepper, violet, rose petal and sweet spices; today the cabernet franc component is very apparent. At once velvety and racy on the palate, with great energy and class to the red fruit, floral and mineral flavors. An electric wine that jolts the palate, and yet the exceptionally silky finish features creamy-sweet mouth-saturating tannins. If the 2007 was more Saint-Julien in style and the 2008 more like Pauillac, the subtly complex 2011 is very much Léoville. I'm not sure Jean-Hubert Delon could make a bad Léoville-Las-Cases even if he tried to. This should turn out to be one of the top five wines of the vintage.
**+ Deep color. A complex wine with layers of red fruit. Silky, with power on the back end. Excellent. Trey: Very dark, inky in color, with a juicy texture, sweet graphite and mineral components and a dense, sweet core of fruit. Good length, firm, ripe tannins. 92-94 points. AP: When Mouton was elevated to First Growth status there was one property that I believe had a legitimate gripe: Léoville-Las Cases. Like Latour the wines are the quintessential "iron fist in a velvet glove." Aromas of black cherry, cola and a hint of milk chocolate linger in the glass while the wine displays great length and a creamy, long finish.