Along with the Medoc first growths, Leoville Barton, Chateau Montrose, Sociando Mallet, and a handful of other producers, Leoville Las Cases continues to make a wine meant for very long-term cellaring. When I did my earlier tastings of the 2000, my projected maturity dates were 2012-2040, but it is looking more like 2020-2050. This full-bodied blend of nearly 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.4% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc still has a youthful ruby/purple color, notes of graphite, kirsch liqueur, black currants, and lead pencil shavings, with good acidity, the tell-tale purity, layered ripeness and intensity, and a profound finish. However, with its high level of tannin and brooding backwardness, this superb effort needs to be forgotten for up to a decade.
This wine has put on weight and, as impressive as it was from cask, it is even more brilliant from bottle. Only 35% of the crop made it into the 2000 Leoville Las Cases, a blend of 76.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.4% Merlot, and 8.8% Cabernet Franc. The wine is truly profound, with an opaque purple color and a tight but promising nose of vanilla, sweet cherry liqueur, black currants, and licorice in a dense, full-bodied, almost painfully rich, intense style with no hard edges. This seamless classic builds in the mouth, with a finish that lasts over 60 seconds. Still primary, yet extraordinarily pure, this compelling wine, which continues to build flavor intensity and exhibit additional layers of texture, is a tour de force in winemaking and certainly one of the great Leoville Las Cases. In another sense, it symbolizes / pays homage to proprietor Michel Delon, who passed away in 2000. Michel has been succeeded by his son, Jean-Hubert, another perfectionist. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2040.
The millennial Las-Cases is very well defined on the nose, although there is still a lot of oak to be resolved. Ripe blackberry and a touch of sloe, tobacco and graphite, a puff of smoke with time. Very controlled and assured, perhaps a little more generous than I expected. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, typically obdurate tannins, very masculine with tobacco and a touch of white pepper towards the finish. Drink 2020 - 2050.