2011 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1090983 95-97 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (5/ 2012)

93-95 points 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+)  (4/ 2012)

95 points Wine Spectator

 *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.  (3/ 2014)

93-94 points James Suckling

 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.  (4/ 2012)

92-94 points 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.  (5/ 2012)

K&L Notes

**+ 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.

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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.