2002 Léoville-Las-Cases, St-Julien

SKU #1018645 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Only 43% of the production made it into the final blend of this remarkable 2002. Produced from a low 17 hectoliters per hectare, it includes 66.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 13.9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It has the highest alcohol ever achieved in a Leoville Las Cases (13.5%) as well as a lofty pH of 3.85. Nevertheless, the impression is one of a structured wine with considerable density, a ruby/purple color, layers of flavor, and a classic overall personality. The wine exhibits pure black currant, licorice-infused fruit, huge body, a viscous mid-palate, and a long, heady finish. I suspect this wine won’t be nearly as charming as the 2003 in its youth, but it hasn’t yet closed down, and I am amazed at just how rich, intense, and full-bodied it tastes even after bottling. This is certainly one of the half dozen or so candidates for wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030+. (RP)  (4/2005)

94 points Wine Spectator

 This is the essence of currants and berries with minerals and flowers. Full-bodied, with silky, refined tannins. Superlong and impressive. A beauty. Love it. As it should be. Best after 2008. (JS)  (3/2005)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Moderately saturated red-ruby. Captivating if cooler nose of blackcurrant, licorice and minerals. Very intensely flavored and gripping if currently quite tight. The black fruit and menthol flavors show an almost medicinal austerity and uncanny penetration on the palate. (ST)  (6/2005)

K&L Notes

More recently, 91+ points from Wine Advocate's Neal Martin: "Tasted blind at Farr’s 2002 Bordeaux tasting. A ripe blackberry nose with graphite, blueberry, wild hedgerow and a touch of leather. A sweet entry, a lot of extraction here with firm, solid, chewy tannins but well defined and clean. Real density and weight to this wine. Grippy…lacquers the palate with its fruit, one of the most persistent ’02 Clarets but it certainly needs time. Tasted October 2009." (Wine Journal, 1/2010)

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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.