2002 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien

SKU #1016287 91 points Decanter

 This is full of vigour and life – an enjoyable wine from a challenging year. At this stage in its development the cassis notes are merging with tannins, which are starting to soften but haven't forgotten what they're here for. Good balance, with a lovely fresh edge at the close of play as it rises rather than falls, and the menthol notes are very attractive. A slight tightness on the finish tells you that the fruit is a heartbeat away from full ripeness, and although this will age well it lacks some characteristic generosity. The rest of the blend is made up of Petit Verdot. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030. (JA)  (6/2018)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This wine has completely shut down since it’s been bottled but exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color, high levels of tannin, and sweet, noble black currant fruit intermixed with some licorice, espresso roast, and pain grille. In the vernacular, it is closed for business, with medium to full body, high levels of tannin, and good acidity in a more structured, classic style than the 2003. This is a big, traditionally made wine to forget for a good 5-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2020. (RP)  (4/2005)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Complex aromas of cherry, currant, cedar, tobacco, mocha, minerals, menthol and licorice. Bright and penetrating, with juicy acids giving definition to the wine's flavors. Flavors run more to black fruits than the nose would suggest. A nicely aromatic wine with ripe tannins and solid structure.  (5/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Both herbal and perfumed. Very fragrant. On the palate, much drier. Tannins are powdery but compact. Still needs a good bit more time. 17/20 points. (JH)  (5/2009)

Wine Spectator

 Dark color with beautiful blackberry, currant and smoky earth character. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicate finish. Excellent attack...(JS, web only, 2006)

K&L Notes

90 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted blind at Farr's 2002 Bordeaux tasting. This bottle has a very lifted, well-defined nose with blackberry, raspberry, earth and tar. Good definition. Autumn leaves. It has a ripe entry on the palate; chewy middle, solid, firm tannins, bright black fruits, redcurrant and cedar. Nice focus on the finish-discernibly good winemaking here but it needs more time." (01/2010)

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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.
Sub-Region:

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.