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2019 Langoa Barton

The Wine Advocate’s William Kelley has fast established himself as one of the world’s leading critics.  Whilst his tastes are clearly different to the original Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, he shares two key things: an impeccable palate and the conviction to call things exactly as he sees them. Long may it continue.

He has just published his favourite wines of 2022 – all from Bordeaux – and we couldn’t agree more with his “Wine for the Cellar” – 2019 Langoa Barton. He comments:

The late Anthony Barton, who passed away earlier this year, was one of Bordeaux’s great gentlemen and will be remembered for his wit and generosity as well as his track record for producing high-quality, age-worthy wines for prices that never succumbed to the one-upmanship that so few Bordeaux proprietors seem able to resist. Langoa-Barton exists somewhat in the shadow of its nobler sibling, Léoville-Barton, with vineyards further inland and a higher proportion of Merlot, yet its quality has never been better and the market hasn’t really caught up. Readers who forget a case of the 2019 vintage in their cellars for a decade or two certainly won’t be disappointed.” 
 
Without doubt one of the finest Langoa Bartons ever made, it remains very well-priced for what it is.  At £420 per dozen in bond, or £395 per dozen for two dozen or more, this comes in at half the price of Léoville Barton and remains one of the best-value 2019s, indeed best-value classed growth clarets, on our list.

A timely classic for patient readers with cold cellars, the 2019 Langoa Barton is performing beautifully in bottle, unwinding in the glass with a rich bouquet of cassis, plums, cigar wrapper, pencil shavings and loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, deep and elegantly muscular, its concentrated core of fruit is framed by lively acids and ripe, powdery tannins that assert themselves on the youthfully firm finish. Forget it for a decade and reap the rewards for the following four. Drink Date 2029 - 2065.

94+
William Kelley, RobertParker.com (April 2022), April 2022

The 2019 is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. Saturate purple colour in the glass. The nose is expansive and enticing, layering ripe cassis and bramble fruits with savoury restraint. Cedar, baking spices, liquorice and nutmeg all come through. The palate is just as impressive, with great density at the core. Bursting with black fruits, it is highly seductive and powerful, but matched by mouthcoating, ripe tannins. The balance of fruit and tannin makes it more approachable than the Léoville Barton at this stage, but the structure and power are still there to make for a long, open drinking window. Complex and expansive with a very moreish flavour profile, with waves of spice, smoke and wood coming through, this is a hugely impressive wine for the money. Very long through to the finish, this is without doubt one of the finest Langoa Bartons ever made.

96+
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, November 2021

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Langoa Barton is a very pleasant surprise, singing of Black Forest cake, raspberry preserves and warm blackcurrants notions with suggestions of chocolate mint, forest floor and pencil shavings plus a hint of cinnamon toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has jaw-dropping tension and intensity, featuring ripe, grainy tannins and bags of evocative red and black fruits, finishing with a lively lift. The style of this 2019 is worlds away from the also very impressive 2018, showcasing an even brighter, immediately impactful and downright flamboyant side to the estate. Color me impressed! 2024 - 2050

93/95
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (July Week ), July 2020

Plenty of blackberry, currant and floral aromas. Some mint as well, following through to a full-bodied palate with layers of ultra-fine tannins and wonderful length. This is sophisticated and beautifully crafted with style and personality, displaying its terroir. Extremely well done. Drink after 2025

96
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, December 2021

Muscular tannins here, a little less succulent than the 2018 vintage but with greater structure and control, along with St Julien finesse. This is flush with cassis and blueberry fruits, alongside liquorice root, black chocolate, dark pepper spice, a ton of bristling tannins and a fresh core. Another brilliant vintage for a resurgent Langoa.

94
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, March 2022

Very finely textured with pure blue fruit and lavender and violet undertones. It’s full-bodied with pure, focused fruit. Extremely long and refined. Clearly better than the 2018.

95/96
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, June 2020

A brilliant wine to seek out to showcase how Duhart is being skilfully worked to deepen its flavour profile and beef up its mid palate, and to soften up tannins that can be austere when young. Here you find a tenderness and a velvety quality to the structure, along with cool blue and black fruits. Still unmistakably Pauillac, majoring on cassis, pencil lead and cedar wood, all standing to attention and confident of giving you many years of service. Very good quality, delivering on its En Primeur promise.

94
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2022

Muscular tannins here, a little less succulent than the 2018 vintage but with greater structure and control, along with St Julien finesse. This is flush with cassis and blueberry fruits, alongside liquorice root, black chocolate, dark pepper spice, a ton of bristling tannins and a fresh core. Another brilliant vintage for a resurgent Langoa.

94
Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2022

Silky blackberry and bilberry fruits, this is a brilliant Langoa, with concentration and lift that pull you both forwards and upwards through the palate. For me this is more successful than the 2018 because it delivers an absolute punch of fruits but gently so, with elegance and control that is very St Julien. Grilled cedar finish, great stuff. Drinking Window 2027 - 2042

94
Jane Anson, Decanter.com, June 2020

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc.
Dark glowing purplish crimson. Perfumed, high-toned, intriguing nose. Very youthful indeed but all the elements are there for a pretty glorious long life. Bone-dry finish but true to the estate. 14%
Drink 2028 – 2046

17
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, December 2021

The 2019 is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, with ageing to take place in 60% new French oak as normal. A deep, rich ruby colour in the glass, matched by an evocatively rich nose of brambly fruit and subtle spices from the oak. The palate has superb density and richness, with chalky, mouthcoating tannins and intense, layered black fruits. There are accents of dried flowers and red fruits, lifting the palate and adding a little more approachability than the Léoville Barton, but this is still deep, powerful and ageworthy. The finish is long, harmonious and precise, and continues the excellent form of Langoa Barton in recent years.

94/97
Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, May 2020

A soft, seamless, beautifully textured Saint-Julien, especially in the vintage, the 2019 Château Langoa Barton gives up lots of red and black currant fruits as well as textbook damp earth, leafy herbs, chocolate, and spring flowers. It's complex, medium to full-bodied, has beautiful tannins, and no hard edges. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 20-25 years. The blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc.

94
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, April 2022

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Barrel sample.
Attractive nose of dark fruit with a savoury edge. Palate joyous and juicy with plenty of lift, the tannins ripe and smooth. Clean, long and harmonious. Everything in its place. (JL)
Drink 2026 – 2038

17
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com, June 2020
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