2012 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
Barrel sample. This is a very solid wine with tannins that are very firm and dense. There is power without excessive alcohol, lending a classic feel, and a pure line from fruit, acidity and tannin. The result is as much about fruit as structure.
A structured and powerful Las Cases. It really grabs you and makes you take note. Yet there is polish and refinement in the texture. Full body, with intense tannins and long, lively finish. The fruit acid balance is very pretty.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The seriously endowed 2012 Las Cases exhibits a dense purple color as well as surprisingly sweet tannin and a forwardness that one does not normally find at this address. Medium to full-bodied with beautiful black currant, graphite, crushed rock and subtle oaky notes, it possesses lots of minerality and precision, impressive power, a rich mid-palate (which sets it apart from other St.-Juliens), and a long finish. It appears this beauty will be drinkable in 5-6 years, and last for 25 or more.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby-red. Spice and vanillin nuances complicate red cherry, blackcurrant, cedar and graphite on the captivating, classic nose. Then suave and refined in the mouth, with clean flavors of blackcurrant, cedar and herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with insidious complexity and atypical levels of sweet creamy flesh for a 2012 Bordeaux from the Left Bank. I found this outstanding wine to be very LLC in style, not unlike a lighter version of the 2010. The grapes were picked on 12 different days between October 4 and 18. For my money, it's one of the two best wines from the Left Bank in 2012.
This is among the tightest wines at this early stage, with a wall of smoldering charcoal holding the core of dark plum, blackberry paste and cassis in reserve. The sleek finish shows admirable length and a mouthwatering echo of iron. This harnesses the austerity of the vintage to its advantage, and should unwind slowly in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.
More praise from Robert Parker: "One of the best, if not the finest wines made in St.-Julien in 2012 is Jean-Hubert Delon's famed Leoville Las Cases. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol, which is interesting given the fact that its next door neighbor, Latour, only hit 12.8%. Delon said rot was no problem in their well-drained, gravelly vineyards (which are of first-growth quality in fact if not in name)." (04/2013)