2012 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien

SKU #1204196 94-96 points Wine & Spirits

 *Barrel Sample* Firmly tannic in character, this wine is dry and extracted. There's potential for this powerful, impressive wine to bear the wine's very dry character with the weight of its fruit.  (4/2013)

94-96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Barrel sample. Firmly tannic in character, this wine is dry and extracted. There's potential for this powerful, impressive wine to bear the wine's very dry character with the weight of its fruit.  (4/2013)

92 points Decanter

 Dense black-red, firm, quite spicy Cabernet Sauvignon, both ripeness and firmness is there, elegance over power and a good future.  (10/2015)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Dense ruby/purple, with cassis licorice and forest floors notes in the aromatics, Léoville-Barton’s 2012 is a relatively big, rich, masculine style of wine. This full-bodied wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring and should evolve easily for 25-30 years. (RP)  (4/2015)

91 points James Suckling

 Floral and fruity red with hints of vanilla. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a crisp finish. Loosely knit. This needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2018.  (2/2015)

91 points Vinous

 The 2012 Leoville-Barton is laced with dark red and blue-fleshed stone fruits, spices, sweet spice, mint and licorice. This is a decidedly understated, forward Leoville-Barton that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The classic Leoville-Barton signatures aren't fully developed. Perhaps I caught the 2012 in an awkward stage, but today the wine is quite introspective and gives the impression of not being fully formed. 91+ (AG)  (1/2016)

88-90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby. Delicately smoky nuances complement dark plum and fresh blackcurrant on the subdued nose. Lively flavors of red cherry, violet, minerals and bitter chocolate show less fat but more cut than those of the Langoa Barton, with a slightly edgy quality to the wine's acidity. (ID)  (5/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Tasted blind. Sappy. Aromatic, even a bit racy on the nose! Very clever winemaking almost disguises the lack of ripe fruit. Solid, spicy, something to chew on. A wine with some potential and well-managed tannins. (17/20 points)  (1/2016)

K&L Notes

This great property produced a big wine, with loads of grapey, blue/purple fruits, but is rounder and more forward, and will drink well relatively young after 7-10 years. It reminds me of the delicious 1999! (Ralph Sands, K&L Bordeaux Expert) 93-95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The Grand Vin is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 3 and 15 October at 32hl/ha. It is more introspective than the Langoa at this early stage, but perhaps more complex with subtle tertiary and pencil lead scents infusing the black fruit profile. The palate is superbly balanced with fine tannins, delineated black and red fruit infused with graphite borrowed north from Pauillac. It exudes focus and precision and should be one of the finest Saint Julien 2012s. Tasted April 2013."

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Price: $79.99
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By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/12/2015 | Send Email
Second growth aged for 20 months in 50% new barriques, this elegant cab-merlot blend shows complexity with solid structure. Cola with bright fruit and an herbal earthiness, Leoville Barton is a bottle I would happily drink now, which is something special for such a young Bordeaux... aging will only improve this beautiful, well-integrated wine.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/4/2015 | Send Email
There is wonderful balance and freshness to this substantial wine although a few more years in bottle will work wonders. This is deep, dark and masculine with tons of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, hints of cola and mineral and absolutely no hard edges whatsoever despite the size and depth. The sense of balance and proportion are what sets this apart.

By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/14/2015 | Send Email
Very well polished with the classic notes of cola and cassis. The palate is structured for sure, but all its elements are in such harmony that one forgets it is only a 3 year old wine. Dark fruit, coffee, cola and violets. Quite a stunner.

By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/14/2015 | Send Email
Incredibly elegant and complex with aromas of violets, fresh herbs and ripe cherries. The palate has an elegant soft texture while maintaining structure and expresses notes of fresh ground coffee, cassis and pencil shavings. This 2012 is a stunning bottle of elegant, classic Bordeaux that is integrated enough to drink now and complex enough to hold on to for a number of years.

By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2015 | Send Email
Floral and fruity red with hints of vanilla. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a crisp finish. Loosely knit. This needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2018. A great wine for a great price. Can't miss.
Drink from 2018 to 2038

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.


- 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.