Leoville Las Cases 2010

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Julien
ColourRed
TypeStill


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Tasting Notes

The 2010 is a quintessentially elegant, classic wine of Bordeaux - firm, rigid, perhaps slightly lighter than most of the other St.-Juliens, but stylish, potentially complex, and reminiscent of the style of the 1986, but more concentrated and powerful. It is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc with a normal pH of 3.56. It was raised in 75% new oak and the alcohol came to 13.7%. This wine displays loads of black currants, cedar wood and vanillin, but needs a good 7-8 years of cellaring, if not much longer. It should last for 30+ years.

What I like about tasting at Las Cases is that Jean-Hubert Delon opens one bottle in my presence, and has another already decanted four hours in advance to compare. It is nearly unanimous on each visit that the decanted wine shows better, which probably gives you some insight into the aging potential of Las Cases. It is certainly one of Bordeaux's longest-lived wines, and seems to have more and more of a character resembling Lafite Rothschild more than its nearby neighbor, Chateau Latour.

Score: 96+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013

As one would expect, this is a powerful, concentrated wine with 13.7% natural alcohol (compared to 2005's 13.2%). The pH is quite normal at 3.56, and its relatively high total acidity gives it a classic, fresh, yet backward style. Given how long vintages such as 1982, 1986, and I suspect, 2000 are taking to reach maturity, prospective purchasers of this wine should easily invest in a decade of cellaring, although I suspect it will be closer to 15 or more years before it reveals secondary nuances. A good 40- to 50-year wine, it is a dense purple, full-bodied style of Las Cases, with classic sweet kirsch, graphite and black currant fruit as well as hints of new saddle leather and subtle oak. Backward, layered and multi-dimensional, the wine is stunningly rich, but brooding. Forget it at least until 2020 or later.

Score: 95/98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

Tasted at the chateau. The aromatics on the Leoville Las-Cases 2010 stop you in your tracks: blackberry married with dark plum, Mirabelle, crushed stone and a scent of Christmas cake in the background. It is incredibly well defined and develops subtle floral notes with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied - an immediately elegant, classic Las Cases. It is certainly not the powerhouse that is the 2009, but focused, linear...perhaps athletic and honed. It has outstanding minerality and finesse on the finish to die for. This is an exceptional wine from Jean-Hubert Delon. Tasted November 2012.

Score: 98Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, February 2013

Cropped at 36.7hl/ha, the Leoville Las-Cases is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, offering 13.7% alcohol and a pH of 3.56. It will be raised in 75% new oak. The nose is very intense with notes of blackberry, cassis, tobacco and a touch of black truffle, all very well defined and perhaps less generous, but more cerebral than the 2009. The palate is full-bodied with exceptionally silky smooth tannins, wonderful harmony and sense of beguiling composure and completeness. The finish is tannic, driven by the ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. I expect this Las-Cases to close down for a few years...it will need time to mellow and reach its drinking plateau. Drink 2025- Tasted March 2011.

Score: 96/98Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2011

The aromas to this wine have a beautiful purity of raspberries, blueberries, currants, and flowers that follow to a a full body, with super integrated tannins that are like the finest silk in texture. It shows elegant and pretty fruit character and a reserve and finesse of such great years as 1989 and 1995. The bright strong acidity gives a crunchy and creamy texture. This has a tiny bit more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than 2009. Give it at least six to eight years of bottle age.

Score: 99James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2013

This is very silky, with a racy and fresh character of violets, currants and raspberries. Full with a super texture. Racy structure. Reminds me of the 1996

Score: 95/96James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2011

Excellent deep crimson. Very introvert and very dry. Super-sweet start and initially seems much rounder and less obdurate than usual. Though those dry tannins certainly creep up on you at the end! Some silkiness and glorying in the special ripeness of the Cabernet in this wine. Very dry end. Not that long funnily enough. A certain transparency that is not usually there.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2011

In the last 25 years this has been the top-performing non-1st Growth in the Médoc. The vines are situated alongside those of Chateau Latour and the rigorous pursuit of quality is demonstrated by the demotion of much of the production into the excellent Clos du Marquis. Now the young vines are not even used for Clos du Marquis with the creation of "Le Petit Lion". Lascases will never be cheap but this is a wine that wants to taste like a First Growth and it frequently does. This year however the style seems to have changed with the sometimes monolithic, black, strapping, backward samples of the past replaced by something smoother and more supple. It is still big and dense of course, but less brutal than normal at this stage with an elegant body and a touch of cream and polish. Ripe cassis fills the mouth and there is a plush texture and spicy new oak. The surprise is the finish which seems a little short today. Easier to taste than usual but not quite the beast that we were expecting.

Score: 17.5Farr Vintners, April 2011

Stunning and pure from the get-go, with intense cassis and blackberry fruit. Ultimately takes a slightly austere approach, with a wrought-iron structure driving along while pastis, black tea, licorice snap and asphalt notes course underneath. Long and loaded with grip, this remains remarkably fine-grained. A very chiseled Cabernet that is wonderfully precise and incredibly long. Best from 2020 through 2040.

Score: 99James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, January 2013

Black fruited power is balanced by red fruited freshness a lovely complex mix of flavours. The mid palate is sensuously fleshy the fruit enriched by dark chocolate, coffee beans and liquorice but towards the back there is freshness that gives a lighter feel to the finish.

Score: 92/96Derek Smedley MW, April 2011

Score: 97Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2011

Stunning concentration of fruit, precision and purity, a great vineyard expression and a totally great wine in the most simple sense of the term. Drink 2025-50.

Score: 19.5Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2011

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.