The 2016 Leoville-Las Cases comprises 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 19 October, during which the harvesters were out in the vines for 16 days. It is matured in 90% new oak and delivers 13.60% alcohol and an IPT of 82. It is initially tightly coiled on the nose and needed coaxing from the glass. There are scents of small black cherries, boysenberry, crushed violets and a slight flintiness that emerges with time. The definition is very impressive—you can almost pick the aromas out one by one. The palate is awe-inspiring. The tannins are so filigree, in fact not dissimilar to their neighbor across the border at Château Latour. That seam of graphite lends this Léoville Las-Cases a Pauillac-like personality, but ignoring stylistic similarities, it is the intensity, depth and arching structure that astounds, with detail on the finish that rivets your feet to the spot. Then the finish is ultra-precise, one of the most mineral-driven that I have encountered in almost 20 years visiting the estate, plus it is endowed with one the longest aftertastes you will find in 2016. Yeah, it's good. Drink 2030 - 2070.
|Score: 98/100||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017|
A unique Las Cases that harkens back to some of the great classics such as 1985 or 1986 with its solid backbone of tannins and a walnut, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and powerful, characterized throughout by a steeliness that shows its strength and energy. Better than the 2015. Ultra-classic.
|Score: 98/99||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017|
Léoville Las Cases is usually a brutish, powerful wine, especially when young. The 2016, on the other hand, is a wine of total finesse. There is almost no sensation of tannin, even though the wine has the highest degree of tannin ever measured here. Sometimes wines can go from the merely outstanding into the realm of the sublime. That is very much the case with the 2016 Léoville Las Cases. I could describe the aromas and flavors, but that seems superfluous for a wine that delivers so much pure pleasure. Silky (yes, silky) tannins wrap around a super-expressive finish laced with the essence of blue/purplish fruit, crème de cassis, lavender and blueberry jam.
|Score: 95/98+||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2017|
Amazing combination of the stoniness and backbone of traditional Las Cases with extraordinary vitality and energy, all overlaid with fully ripe fruit. Such richness! Round tannins but the most youthful wine I have yet encountered. Extremely minerally and thrilling. Jean-Hubert Delon bemoans the fact he will not be alive to see it at its peak, and is convinced it will shut down at some point. It is glorious to taste now. 13.6%
|Score: 19||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017|
Since 1982 this has probably been the top-performing non-1st Growth in the Médoc. The vines are situated alongside those of Chateau Latour. The young Cabernet vines and older Merlot vines are used for the "Petit Lion" label. The most Pauillac-like of all the Saint Juliens with a strong Cabernet Sauvignon character. Much of the Merlot goes into Petit Lion. Very spicy on the nose, with cloves, incense and cigar box. The palate shows great approachability for a Chateau that is normally tough to taste En Primeur. Juicy blackcurrants and black cherries are framed by ripe tannins, building through the mid-palate to provide a firm backbone, but with a precision, ripeness and elegance that allows spice, flowers and sweet vanilla to shine through even at this early stage. With great complexity and density, the finish is long and fine, with lingering fruit purity indicating a real ageing potential despite the (relatively) forward structure. A real success of the vintage.
|Score: 17.5+||Farr Vintners, February 2017|
Fleshy and ripe the nose has sweet fruit depth the palate ripeness and richness. Fine tannins the mid palate is supple rich with depth of flavour the sweet fruit backed by bramble freshness complexity layers of flavour. The back palate is sweet and ripe the finish has depth of fruit. 2026-40
|Score: 95/97||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017|
Jean-Hubert Delon has made the most of the superb vintage in 2016 to produce a Las-Cases that’s typically concentrated, backward and even a little forbidding. But scale the walls of the tannins and savoury, compact berry fruit and the view is beautiful. 2030-45
|Score: 95||Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017|
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 75% of the main blend, with 14% of 80 year old Merlot and 11% of Cabernet Franc, and aged in 90% new oak. It is hard to think of a vintage when this is not a great wine, but in 2016 it is exceptional, comparable to the majestic 1996. It has all the intensity, richness and depth, but it lets the light in. The yield is fairly high at 40hl/ha, with 3.66pH balancing a tannin index of 82IPT. This is the highest ever at this property and yet the wine is elegant, gorgeous and juicy, with an endless array of black fruits and graphite. The tannins are right there pushing at the front of the mouth, but remain pliable. No need to worry about this ageing long into the future. 98-100 points.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
|Score: 99||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017|
Tasted with Pierre Graffeuille, commercial director. Very profound, very focussed and also amazingly exotic, there is a
mind-bending amount of class here and it is so dense and so classy that it completely baffles the palate. The weightlessness
and also intensity of the flavours are nothing short of amazing. The tannins are complete and not at all drying but
they are incredible and they will arm this wine for a fifty-year life. The colour and turbidity is insane, too. Sitting here
tasting this wine is a seriously unnerving out of body experience and I will make it my mission to taste (and drink) this
wine as many times as I can for the rest of my life! This is a truly amazing Las Cases and it is a ‘classic’, at the same time as
defining a new era of classicism in this commune. Phenomenal. 20++
|Score: 20+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2017|