The 2014 Léoville Las-Cases has a (typically) more introverted, tertiary, austere bouquet compared to the Léoville Barton. Despite coaxing it does not possess much lift – sullen, a wine with a "Closed" sign dangling on the front door. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, solid with a sweet core, nicely proportion but just not quite conveying the same joie-de-vivre and energy as its peers. "Perhaps it is saving everything for later?" are the words I penned before this wine's identity is revealed...well, I should have known. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. 2024 - 2055
The 2014 Leoville-Las Cases is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot, cropped at 33 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 85% new oak. There is 6.8% vin de presse this year. Picked between 30 September and 13 October over 12 days. It has a delectable bouquet with very precise, mineral-rich black fruit infused with oyster shell, which appears to be a leitmotif of Jean-Huber Delon's 2014s! The palate is medium-bodied with wondrous purity and tension, the acidity beautifully poised and imparting the palpable sense of energy from start to finish. Where it really excels is on the finish: exquisite structure, very complex with enormous persistence that lingers for more than a minute. Surely the wine of the appellation, ditto one of the best Left Bank 2014s. Drink 2021-2045
The Château Léoville-Las-Cases 2014 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot cropped at 33 hectoliter per hectare matured in 85% new oak. There is 6.8% vin de presse this year. Picked between 30 September and 13 October over 12 days, it has an intense, graphite-scented bouquet, one of the most Pauillac-like that I have encountered, extremely precise and perhaps less flamboyant than recent vintages. This is very controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, succinctly pitched acidity and an almost pixelated finish that lingers long and tenderly. I love the elegance here – this is an outstanding wine from Jean-Hubert Delon and his team and dare I say, equal to some of the First Growths.
Drink: 2022 - 2045
I love the nose of blackberries, blueberries, flowers and citrus. Hints of stones and wet earth. Full body and ultra-fine tannins that are so long and seamless. Incredible length. A wine that you want to drink now.
The aromas to this wine are enchanting with blackberries, dried flowers, blueberries, citrus and stones. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and bright acidity. Citrus skin undertones. Very, very long. Structured. This is 13.8 alcohol meaning the cabernet was incredibly ripe for the vintage. Yet it remains agile, structured and bright.
Readers will have to be patient with the 2014 Léoville-las-Cases, as it is not likely to show well for a number of years. Tightly wound but also medium-bodied and classic in its construction, the 2014 is going to need quite a bit of time to come together. Léoville-las-Cases is so often a wine of power, but here the refined site of the vintage is very much in evidence. The 2014 is a Las Cases built on finesse.
The 2014 Léoville-las-Cases is striking, even if it is reticent. Crème de cassis, blueberry jam, pencil shavings, cloves and new leather are all woven together effortlessly. Today, the 2014 comes across as restrained and finessed, with less of the volume and energy that is common. It's hard to imagine the notoriously slow-to-mature Léoville-las-Cases won't blossom during its élevage, but at this stage the elements aren't fully put together. The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot.
Tasted blind. Sweet, velvety nose. Lots of intensity and glamour. A slightly animal, wild edge to this. Masses of tannin lurking under the fruit – pretty insistent and dramatic. Dry finish. Correct.
Very dark crimson. Intense nose but much lighter and more transparent than Las Cases of old. A little tough at the moment. Dry finish but neither austere nor overdone. Almost delicate - not an adjective I would normally associate with Las Cases. 13.8%
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 Clos du Marquis. Nowadays the young vines are not even used for Clos du Marquis with the creation of the ""Petit Lion"" label. The most Pauillac-like of all the Saint Juliens. 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, with 85% new oak used at 33hl/ha. Deep purple colour, with blackcurrant, cedar, bitter dark cocohlate, and wood smoke on the nose. The palate is robust, muscular and concentrated, with mouthcoating cedary tannins and a dense black fruit core. Classic and uncompromising typicity from Leoville Lascases. Impressive but not hedonistic, and will need plenty of time to resolve in bottle.
The 2014 Leoville Las Cases is a terrific blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, and it’s one of the more backward, tight, age-worthy wines in the vintage. Offering sensational purity in its crème de cassis, graphite, licorice and subtle background oak, it hits the palate with a tight, focused, yet impressively concentrated profile that needs 3-4 years of cellaring and will shine for three decades. It’s another incredibly classy wine from this estate. 2022 - 2052
Densely packed, with cassis, steeped plum and blackberry coulis notes that are compressed with layers of cold charcoal and graphite. Very pure, giving this a long, sleek and racy feel, while an iron underpinning drives the finish. Best from 2020 through 2040. 12,500 cases made.
The nose is closed the start of the palate tight but behind the firmness ripe fruit gives richness and sweetness. Cassis and black cherry are underpinned by liquorice and although it closes down at the back the finish a bit tight there is fruit to show. 2027-40
There's no denying that this is built to last, as Las-Cases often is, but it also has an immediacy that is not always apparent in young samples. Aromatic, cedary and very complete with compact tannins, tightly wound fruit and a sheen of mostly new oak. One of the best Left Bank wines of the vintage.