2012 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien (Pre-Arrival)
* Cellar Selection * This combines considerable power and concentration with rich, impressive fruits. It has both style and elegance, with density to give it great aging potential. The tannins are firm while also having a velvet texture. The wine, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, is for serious aging. Drink from 2025.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby-red. Spice and vanillin nuances complicate red cherry, blackcurrant, cedar and graphite on the captivating, classic nose. Then suave and refined in the mouth, with clean flavors of blackcurrant, cedar and herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with insidious complexity and atypical levels of sweet creamy flesh for a 2012 Bordeaux from the Left Bank. I found this outstanding wine to be very LLC in style, not unlike a lighter version of the 2010. The grapes were picked on 12 different days between October 4 and 18. For my money, it's one of the two best wines from the Left Bank in 2012.
This is among the tightest wines at this early stage, with a wall of smoldering charcoal holding the core of dark plum, blackberry paste and cassis in reserve. The sleek finish shows admirable length and a mouthwatering echo of iron. This harnesses the austerity of the vintage to its advantage, and should unwind slowly in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.
So pure on the nose with aromas of blackcurrants, raspberries and licorice. Hints of stones. Full body, polished yet chewy tannins and a long and racy finish. Layered tannins. Citrusy undertones. Bright acidity. Better in 2019.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The bigger sister or brother of Le Petit Lion, depending on your point of view, the 2012 Leoville Las Cases has gorgeous minerality, plenty of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit that is super-pure, an opaque ruby/purple color, medium body and firm structured, slightly austere personality. This wine is built for the long-term. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it attained 13.5% alcohol, which is substantial for a 2012 Médoc. It has depth and richness, but also a boatload of tannin. Forget it for 8-10 years and drink over the following 15-20.
More praise from Robert Parker: "One of the best, if not the finest wines made in St.-Julien in 2012 is Jean-Hubert Delon's famed Leoville Las Cases. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol, which is interesting given the fact that its next door neighbor, Latour, only hit 12.8%. Delon said rot was no problem in their well-drained, gravelly vineyards (which are of first-growth quality in fact if not in name)." (04/2013)