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Léoville Barton 2016

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Anthony Barton's second growth is always a top quality Bordeaux of classic proportions. Structured, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines are produced here that are serious, controlled and pure. The 50 hectare vineyard is planted 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Always the epitome of Saint Julien and the ultimate "Englishman's Claret".

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Tasting Notes

A brilliant young wine, the 2016 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of cassis, dark berries and cigar box mingled with subtle hints of loamy soil. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's seamless and exquisitely balanced, with beautifully refined tannins, bright acids and a long, penetrating finish. Its structural refinement is such that it's far from forbidding to open right now, yet patience will be richly rewarded. Drink 2026-2066.

William Kelley, RobertParker.com (Cellar 33), August 2022

The 2016 Léoville-Barton has a more savory bouquet than its peers: again, slightly tertiary in style, though very well delineated and manifesting lovely incense and pressed violet aromas with aeration. The oak is neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy and ripe, and gently grippy, leading to a detailed and quite plush (for the vintage) finish. This is a charming Saint-Julien, a bit of a femme fatale. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. 2022 - 2040

Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020

Tight and chewy with a solid tannin structure and depth of fruit. Full body and lots of depth and texture. A Barton with lots happening already. Develops beautifully on the palate. Should be better than the 2015.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

The 2016 Leoville Barton is deep garnet-colored. It charges out of the gate with powerful notes of blackcurrant pastilles, stewed plums, and blueberry compote, followed by wafts of lilacs, dark chocolate, and licorice. Medium-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with a solid wall of firm, grainy tannins and lovely tension supporting the taut, muscular black fruits, finishing long with fantastic purity of fruit.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2023

Restrained but textured, a confident delivery of lashings of cassis, bilberry and blackberry fruits. This is an exceptional Léoville-Barton that sacrifices none of its St-Julien signature while delivering a powerful, beautifully sculpted wine. This is a total triumph, my favourite for years at this property.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Tasted blind. Full, rich, intense, almost fruit cake on the nose. Racy and pacy with the tannins well hidden.
Drink 2026 – 2044

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020

Anthony Barton's second growth is always a top quality Bordeaux of classic proportions. Structured, Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines are produced here that are serious, controlled and pure. The 50 hectare vineyard is planted 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Always the epitome of Saint Julien and the ultimate "Englishman's Claret". 86% Cabernet Sauvingon in 2016 - the highest ever proportion in the blend - with 14% Merlot. Deep colour. A classic nose - precise in ripe but cool blackcurrant, hints of tobacco and cedar, and a little vanilla. Very enticing. The palate is powerful yet controlled - black fruits hold the core with great intensity. The tannins, while firm, are ripe and extremely refined, allowing notes of violet, dark chocolate, cedar and spice box to emerge through the mid-palate and onto the finish. Long, fine and precise, this is a really superb Leoville Barton, and a standout wine for us from the 2016 tastings.

Farr Vintners, April 2017

Deep purple-colored and a classic Saint-Julien with its pure crème de cassis, graphite, liquid rock, and essence of lead pencil shavings, the 2016 Château Léoville Barton is full-bodied, concentrated, and backward, with bright acidity and ripe yet certainly present and building tannins. This old-school, classic Léoville Barton has a fine thread of acidity keeping the wine focused and fresh. It’s a beauty, but mostly potential at this point, although it does have beautiful fruit. Savvy readers will hide bottles at the back of their cellar, and I wouldn’t start to think about opening bottles for a least a decade. It’s going to be incredibly long-lived. The blend of the 2016 is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, brought up in 60% new French oak. Drink 2029-2069.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2019

Rich and ripe on the nose the fruit is sweet the palate has a mix of rich cassis and black cherry. Discreet tannins underpin the mid palate has depth and sweetness the back palate a rich mix of fruits. There is enough freshness to balance and although lighter toward the back it finishes with depth of flavour. 2026-40

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

Making no concessions to sensitive taste buds during en primeur week, this is an unashamedly firm, tannic, densely constructed St Julien that needs at least another decade in bottle. Oaky, firm and compact, with layers of damson, graphite and blackcurrant fruit and a grippy finish. 2027-40

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

The 2016 Léoville Barton has a beautiful bouquet of blackberry, gravel and hints of black truffle and pencil shavings, blossoming with aeration yet remaining classic in style. The palate is medium-bodied with gorgeous ripe tannins that exert gentle grip. Lightly spiced and wonderfully focused, leaving the tongue tingling with glee long after the wine has departed. This is one of the finest wines from the estate in recent years. Drink 2022-2040.

Neal Martin, vinous.com (Jan 2019), January 2019

The 2016 Leoville-Barton is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot picked from 29 September until 13 October, matured in 60% new oak and delivering 13% alcohol. It has a more intense bouquet compared to the Langoa-Barton, plenty of intense blackberry and raspberry fruit, minerals, cedar and a hint of licorice. The palate is a little chewy on the entry with good grip in the mouth. This demonstrates the backbone of the finish, just the right amount of spiciness with excellent salinity on the long finish. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime Leoville Barton, but (as usual) it just seems to do everything right. Maybe it's not quite up there with the stellar 2015 Léoville Barton, which I re-tasted at the time, but it is not far off. Drink 2026 - 2055.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

The Leoville Barton 2016 is deep garnet in color. It comes galloping out with energetic notes of crushed blackcurrants, black cherries, and baked plums, plus wafts of underbrush, cardamom, graphite, and cedar. Medium-bodied, the palate is slightly dominated by the oak at this youthful stage, featuring chewy tannins and bright acidity to counter the taut fruit, finishing on a lingering mineral note.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2022

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Leoville Barton delivers a superstar nose of crème de cassis, plum preserves and blueberry compote with suggestions of fragrant earth, unsmoked cigars, licorice and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, rich and seductive with firm yet velvety tannins, it has a decadently rich finish. Drink 2021 - 2046.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Interim), November 2018

Dark blackish purple. Less obviously aromatic than Langoa. Tea-leaf notes. Round texture with gloriously ripe tannins. Really a standout Barton. So unusually supple! Yet with masses of tannins underneath. This will surely be one of the vintage's longer-living wines. Glorious texture and flavour. Utterly minerally dry, but not drying. Very good freshness – much fresher than many of its peers. Real energy.
Drink 2027-2047

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017
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.