1990 Léoville-Las-Cases, St-Julien

SKU #950021 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 As one might expect, this is a brilliant wine, but it remains shockingly young, even for the fast evolving 1990s. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic, nearly restrained set of aromatics that includes notions of sweet black cherries, black currants, lead pencil, and wet stones. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, and while technically low in acidity, there is a freshness, delineation, and classicism in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated, impeccable 1990. While still youthful, it is easy to appreciate despite its substantial tannins. It is not quite as backward as the 1990 Lafite Rothschild or 1990 Latour. Anticipated maturity: now-2035. (RP)  (6/2009)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby-red to the rim. Bound-up but intense nose of licorice, blackcurrant, and chocolate, with lovely oak treatment. Brooding and unevolved on the palate, but the great extract and depth of flavor are easy to appreciate. Brilliantly delineated, thanks to sound acidity. Proprietor Delon declassified more than 60% of his crop to make this sensational wine. Endless, firm aftertaste. 94+? (ST)  (11/1993)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Beautifully crafted red. Gorgeous plum, berry and smoky oak character. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, long, ripe fruit finish. A joy to taste.  (8/2000)

K&L Notes

95 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "The Chateau Leoville Las-Cases 1990 continues to be a monumental wine, one of the finest of that era. Tasted blind at a private dinner, it retains that misleading, Pauillac bouquet with great intensity, the secondary aromas swarming...rolled tobacco, undergrowth, graphite, and Provencal herbs. The palate is beautifully balanced with melted, autumnal, tertiary fruit and great weight towards the persistent finish. It has a dimension and a breeding that puts the 1989 in the shade. Wonderful. Tasted April 2012."

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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 M├ędoc 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.