2005 Léoville-Las-Cases, St-Julien
*Collectibles* This is breathtaking. Black in color, with incredible aromas of crushed blackberry, mineral, licorice and lead pencil. Full-bodied, with a mind-blowing texture of seamless tannins that coat every millimeter of the palate. Goes on and on, with licorice, currant and flowers. Time will tell if it's better than the 2000. Best after 2017.
A stunningly complex and complete nose of flowers, dark fruits, and minerals. Very perfumed and subtle at the same time. The palate is full, yet tight and powerful with perfect tannins and a long, long finish. The quality of the tannins is phenomenal, please leave this alone for ten years.
A wine for the ages, the 2005 Léoville Las Cases is slow to come out of the gate, but its beauty and pedigree are evident. The 2005 Las Cases is one of the only wines in this tasting that still needs time in bottle, something that won't come as a surprise to fans of this St. Julien estate. The 2005 offers plenty of the typical Las Cases power, but it is also remarkably nuanced and translucent for a wine of its sheer size. When all is said and done, it is in my top three or four wines of the night.
Wine & Spirits
Here is one more vintage to prove Las Cases deserves to be elevated to first growth. The Delon family has tended this great terroir as if they were already there. And the wine has the assured stance, the persistence of flavor that lasts long enough to become a memory, an imprint on whatever synaptic connection may store and recall the greatest pleasures of taste. The energy in the wine is remarkable: beautiful, lithe juice that carries a flavor close to tiny currants and black cherries, but a flavor all its own. The deep stones of Le Clos and the roses with their view of the Gironde seem to be there in the wine as well. Harmonious and jazzed. Perhaps this is the vintage.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is a prodigious effort. A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc (only 37% of the crop qualified for Las Cases), this dense ruby/purple wine has a stunningly pure bouquet of dark fruit, wet rocks, graphite, and subtle background toast/vanillin. Full-bodied, masculine, and very deep and concentrated, this titanic effort is at least 8-10 years away from its plateau of maturity. The Delon family have produced another legend. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2050+. 97+ (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated ruby-red. A confiture of dark berries on the nose, with a complicating torrefaction note of coffee. Fat, sweet, plump and full, with a silky, enveloping texture rare for this wine in its youth. The highly concentrated cassis, violet and bitter chocolate flavors really take over the mouth and stay awhile. The huge, chocolatey finish features big, ripe, building tannins. One can easily taste this massive wine today, but there are great reserves here to ensure a long and slow evolution in bottle-and I would not be at all surprised if it shut down soon for a very long time. Our Cabernet Sauvignon was perfectly ripe in both '05 and '06, noted cellarmaster Rolland. 95(+?)
While the aromas are tight and firm, once it is in the mouth, this wine just explodes. The tannins are dark, almost impenetrable, dry and dense. These tannins are a layer over the fruit that just piles up with ripe blackberry juice, an edge of blueberry. The soft sweetness of this range of flavors continues on the finish, pitted against the tannins.