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Léoville Las Cases 2016

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

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.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Léoville-Las Cases


Tasting Notes

One of the high points of this great vintage, the 2016 Léoville Las Cases is a brilliant wine that unwinds in the glass with aromas of dark berries, pencil shavings, cigar wrapper, loamy soil and violets. Medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, it's concentrated and complete, with beautifully refined tannins, vibrant acids and a long, mineral finish. Even in this series of great wines, it stands out for its cool classicism and unerring precision. Still an infant, while the 2016 is sufficiently polished to be far from forbidding, the real fireworks won't begin for another decade. 2030 - 2075

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, August 2022

A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Leoville Las Cases is deep purple-black in color. It bursts forth with flamboyant notes of crushed blackcurrants, juicy blackberries, and candied violets, giving way to slowly emerging nuances of charcoal, iron ore, wet pebbles, mossy tree bark, and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a powerhouse of black fruit and mineral layers, supported by super-firm, super-ripe tannins and fantastic tension, finishing epically long and achingly beautiful. So Good! You could actually drink this now, crime that it would be, but it is just so delicious even in its youth. It should go on for half a century or more.

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

The 2016 Léoville Las-Cases was tasted from two bottles, this one more in line with prior experiences. It has a very detailed, powerful bouquet of blackberry, cedar, potpourri and iris aromas that soar from the glass. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins, pitch-perfect acidity and a sense of harmony throughout. It fans out wonderfully on the finish. A 2016 with a sense of completeness and bewitching symmetry. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. 2026 - 2060

Neal Martin, vinous.com, August 2020

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

Deep dark hidden depths on the colour here, and this is the highest tannin count (82IPT) of all the vintagtes that I am tasting, including the 2020. Classic 2016 flavours and aromatics from this parl of Bordeaux - crushed rocks, concentrated creème de cassis, slate-licking minerality, this scrapes through the palate. Almost softened by chocolate shavings although the sensation is more akin to biting into a cocoa bean. The precision and the sense of tightrope walking is incredible, this is flying high and will only get better and better over time. I am standing by this score, but don't expect it to be showing you the best of itself any time soon. 50% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, January 2023

Tasted blind. Sweet start and a very deep colour. Intense and minerally. Massively stony and dense. Sinews to the fore! Thick and sweet – a little foot-dragging at the moment but it’s got everything and the kitchen sink in there waiting to open out. Very dramatic and concentrated.
Drink 2030 – 2050

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020

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.

Farr Vintners, February 2017

The 2016 Léoville Las Cases is the finest vintage I’ve ever tasted from this estate; in fact, in this reviewer’s opinion, this magical, perfect wine couldn’t be better. Made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc aged 22 months in 90% new oak, it reveals a deep, saturated purple color as well as a thrilling bouquet of crème de cassis, iris flowers, graphite, crushed rocks, and freshly sharpened lead pencils. A perfect example of the old saying “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a deep, layered, stacked mid-palate, flawless integration of its acidity and tannins, and a monster finish. The balance and purity here are off the charts. Hide bottles for a decade or so and enjoy over the following half a century. Drink 2029-2079.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2019

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

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

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.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++

Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

Very deep purple-black colored, the 2016 Léoville Las Cases (composed of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc) is quite closed to begin, yet with patient coaxing it unfurls beautifully to reveal suggestions of ripe blackcurrants, black raspberries, warm redcurrants and wild blueberries, followed by touches of unsmoked cigars, tilled red soil, cast iron pan, fallen leaves and lavender plus wonderfully fragrant wafts of lilacs and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly knit, very subtle layers of minerals, floral notions and black and red berries, all framed by exquisitely ripe, silt-like tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Simply captivating even in its youth, give it at least a decade in the cellar and then enjoy it over the next 50+ years. Drink 2028 - 2078.

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

The 2016 Léoville Las-Cases underwent three more months in barrel than usual, and was bottled in September 2018. It has an extremely intense bouquet that manages to retain otherworldly delineation. It is not as expressive as its peers at this early stage (but then again, it rarely is). Yet there is palpable coiled-up energy on the nose, and you can feel the mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with super-fine tannin and layers of pure black and blue fruit laced with allspice and a pinch of white pepper. It fans out wonderfully on the finish, which exerts fine grip but never overwhelms. This is undoubtedly one of the best wines ever made by the estate. Close to perfection. Drink 2026-2060

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

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.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

Nothing under 20 years old supplies fruit for the grand vin de Léoville. It's extremely dark and rich, a stately purple in colour with some violet around the rim. Right from the off it expands upwards and outwards, showing polished dark, dark fruits such as black cherry and cassis, alongside slate, liquorice and rosemary. It's mouthfilling and almost less austere than all of the others, yet it's a serious wine. The tannins close in on themselves at the end, showing how this is built to last. A great advert for the whole of Bordeaux, and for me it's the clear wine of the vintage.

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, October 2018

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

Jane Anson, Decanter.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%
Drink 2026-2050

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.