1983 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien

SKU #950003 94 points Decanter

 Again so young, almost not ready to drink but if you are patient things open up and start to sing. The tannic structure on this wine is just so impressive, still doing a good job of cradling blackberry and cassis fruits. It's a little less welcoming than the 1982. Harvest September 28 to October 18 (they began here one day before they finished up the 1982, and the yields were even bigger). More Cabernet in the blend than in 1982 because this was such a late ripening year that suited this variety. Petit Verdot 5% finishes blend. (JA)  (7/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted at the Las-Cases off-line at The Square. Many years have passed since I last tasted the ’83 Las-Cases. It is reticent at first, like and old tongue-tied friend entering the room, then it blossoms with aeration offering scents of leather, chestnut, brambly black fruit and freshly rolled tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied with melted red-berry fruits, firm tannins and superb balance. Hints of bell pepper and sandalwood furnish the long, harmonious finish. This is a wonderful wine for the vintage that is drinking perfectly now. (NM, Wine Journal)  (7/2011)

90 points John Gilman

 The 1983 Las Cases is still a very young and primary example of the vintage, and at age thirty, I am not sure if the wine is still in an extended “dumb” phase, or if this vintage is always going to be a bit dense in style. The bouquet is a youthful blend of cassis, black cherries, Cuban cigars, gravelly soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite compact, with a sound core, rather moderate tannins (particularly for such an unevolved wine!) and good, but not great length and grip on the hunkered down finish. Perhaps this wine will blossom with more bottle age, but it is also very possible that the use of concentrators or what have you has left this wine eternally bound up in its cellar techniques and will never really develop the purity and charm that characterize so many of the great wines in this vintage. It is still not a bad wine in its forceful manner, but one expects more from Las Cases in a top vintage. (Drink between 2018-2050) 90+  (9/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Still dark ruby but with a pale rim. Light nose that suggests dry fruit. Very firm finish. There is still a bit of tannin here! In fact I am going to decant it into my wider goblet-type decanter... Pretty austere at the moment - perhaps it will bloom but I don't hold out enormous hope... (No alcohol given on the label then.) 16.5/20 points. (JR)  (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.
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.