1975 Léoville-Las-Cases, St-Julien

SKU #950263 94 points James Suckling

 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien 1975: This came as a big surprise because I usually associate outstanding bottles of Bordeaux from this vintage with only the Right Bank or Graves. But the 1975 Las Cases is superb. It showed gorgeous aromas of dried berry and tobacco with iodine and shells. It was full body, firm with pleasantly chewy tannins and a chalk, berry and lavender aftertaste. Fresh finish. It's still so beautiful.  (1/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is one of the great successes of the vintage. However, those with modern day tastes for soft, easy-going, supple wines may not enjoy the 1975 Leoville Las-Cases. Why? It is a tannic, backward, old style wine cut from the mold of such vintages as 1948 and 1928. The color is a dark ruby/garnet with a hint of amber at the edge. The nose offers up distinctive mineral, lead pencil, sweet, blackcurrant scents with flinty overtones. Full-bodied, thick, and concentrated, as well as atypically muscular and powerful, this should prove to be one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage. There are sensational levels of richness and intensity. While the vintage's tough tannin level ensures another 20-35 years of longevity, the wine may dry out by that time. I thought this wine would be at its peak by the mid-nineties, but it still needs another 5-8 years of cellaring. It is a very impressive, albeit backward and hard wine. (RP)  (2/1996)

Jancis Robinson

 A good vintage compared with the early 1970s. Paler garnet and some brick at the rim but still quite a bit of red at the core. The first really developed nose of this line up – liquorice and undergrowth and bloody and a touch of mint. Very bloody. Much juicier than I expected after the nose, high acidity, resolved tannins but a slightly lean finish. Acid starting to stick out. More old-fashioned style. (JH)  (2/2011)

K&L Notes

90 points Neal Martin: "Tasted at Roberson’s Las-Cases vertical. The ’75 has a lovely mature nose of mulberry, cedar, pine and a touch of gravel with very good definition and poise. The palate is not quite as attractive as the nose, but is fresh and lively with good acidity, degraded tertiary dark red fruits interlaced with tobacco and cedar, leading to an elegant supple finish with touches of wild mushroom. Very pleasing." (Wine Journal, 7/2011)

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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

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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.