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Léoville Poyferré 2018

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

Like its neighbour Léoville Barton, Poyferré usually offers good value for money when first offered en primeur. The wines here are more smooth, ripe and fleshy than the seriously structured wines of Barton and Lascases. The result is a delicious St Julien that can usually charm early in its life and can stand the test of time. A frequent winner of blind tastings. Plantings in the 80 hectare vineyard are 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Fruit from the younger vines goes into "Le Pavillon de Poyferré" whilst "Moulin Riche"is made from a separate part of the vineyard. Didier Cuvelier compares the 2018 to his 2010 and talks of "freshness with power". The blend is typical with a little less Petit Verdot and there is 80% new oak.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Léoville Poyferré


Tasting Notes

Every bit as good as the 2009, and I think better than the 2010 and 2016, the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré is a total thrill that tops out my scale. Based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by an incredible, full-bodied monster of a wine that, despite massive amounts of fruit, tannins, and extract, still stays weightless and ethereal, with incredible purity. Loaded with notions of crème de cassis, spring flowers, tobacco, violets, charcoal, and cedar pencil, it's extraordinarily concentrated, flawlessly balanced, and has a finish that won't quit. This is a legendary wine in the making. Give bottles 7-8 years, a decade would be even better, and it will keep for 40-50 years. Hats off to the Cuvelier family for another extraordinary wine!

Wine of the Year 2021

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, March 2021

Dark cherry, plum, spice and cacao with earthy notes and wood undertones. Cloves, too. Full-bodied, yet in control and poised. Balanced, complex and flavorful. Firm tannins and a long, precise finish. It goes on and on. Structured is the word. Try after 2025.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2021

The 2018 Léoville-Poyferré performs similarly to the bottle tasted a few weeks earlier in the UK for my in-bottle round-up, although here I sense more opulence on the nose, perhaps more florality. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannins, broad and sensual, plummy with that beguiling symmetry on the finish. It needs several years in bottle but it will be well worth the wait. Tasted at the Léoville-Poyferré vertical at the château with Sara Lecompte Cuvelier.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, June 2021

Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Deep ruby colour. A wild and complex nose of blood orange, cassis, plum jam and star anise. The palate has great energy to cut through succulent, fleshy and intense black fruit. Chalky tannins coat the mouth but are well-defined and ripe, giving a touch of finesse. The fruit remains ripe and dark driving together with lightly smoky oak influence to a long, broad finish. A superb showing. Winner of the Saint Julien flight in Southwold 2018.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, January 2022

Composed of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Leoville Poyferre was aged in 80% new oak barriques. Deep garnet-purple colored, it barrels out of the glass with bold notes of prunes, baked black currants and stewed blackberries, plus hints of Chinese five spice, iron ore and wood smoke with a touch of rose oil. Full-bodied, firm, and grainy in the mouth, it features bags of savory and mineral layers among the concentrated, opulent black fruit preserves flavors, finishing with fantastic persistence.

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

Tasted blind. A popular wine with the group! Very pleasingly rich but within a (very obvious) tannic framework. Very youthful. Yet very rich. This is glorious! Very, very long. 14.5%
Drink 2030 – 2055

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2022

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, pH 3.7. Barrel sample.
Black core and purple rim. Ripe, pure vanilla-laced blackcurrant and a note of toasty oak. Gorgeously smooth and rounded even if the tannins are many layered, building to a compact finish. A touch of violets on the scented palate but also an attractive dry stony touch to counterbalance all the rich aromatic fruit. It's oaky but the fruit can stand up to it and seems comfortable in its own skin. (JH) 14.4%
Drink 2026-2040

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep and inky blue in the glass, this is rich and powerful on the nose, with dark chocolate, damson and roasted cofffee bean all on show. The palate is rich in glycerol, making for a glossy and rounded texture to support the fleshy black fruit. This is expansive and impressive, supremely polished and very refined. The density of fruit borders on liquorice sweetness but is tamed by balancing acidity and high quality french oak. A powerhouse of a wine that is very impressive and long on the finish.

Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

Owned by the Cuvelier family since 1920, Léoville Poyferré shares a building with its perhaps better-known cousin Léoville Las Cases, though the two estates are markedly different. Poyferré’s vineyard lies across the road, with its 148 acres of vines situated on more clay-based soils that result in a broad, fleshy wine. Sara Cuvelier is the current generation to head the estate, taking over from her cousin Didier during the 2018 vintage. Winemaker Isabelle Davin and consultant Michel Rolland crafted Poyferré’s modern-style grand vin from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all aged in 80 percent new oak.

James Molesworth, WineSpectator.com, March 2021

(64 Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 Merlot, 3 Cabernet Franc, 3 Petit Verdot) | 80% new oak | 14.4% alc | 90 IPT Commanding and statesmanlike, this is a huge wine with massive power and extract and yet, somehow, it is all in balance. I love the sweeping black fruit, the oak, the mighty tannins and the bright acid which sweep up the carnage left on your palate after this wine has ploughed a taste furrow across your tongue. I have no doubt that this action will all settle down and that the wine will mellow in time (and my confidence in this statement resulted in a crucial extra half a point on my score), but overall this is a great vintage to announce Sara Lecompte-Cuvelier to the Château! She picked out one of the great expressions of the vintage with which to describe her wines – ‘2018, Disgrace to Grace’. Clever and jolly accurate, too.

Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019
Read more tasting notes...

The 2018 Léoville Poyferré has a glorious bouquet of layers of black cherry, blueberry, violet and potpourri that is opulent yet (paradoxically) effortlessly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. Some of the puppy fat that enveloped this wine from barrel has gone, revealing more backbone and an impressive sense of cohesion and symmetry on the finish. This is an outstanding Léoville Poyferré that has gained another level of complexity since I tasted it from barrel.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, March 2021

The 2018 Léoville Poyferré was picked from 24 September with the Merlot, the Cabernet Sauvignon following six days later and finishing on 12 October. It has a deep purple colour. The bouquet is sensual and voluptuous with black plum, cassis and blueberry, very floral with violet and pressed iris aromas, typically quite outgoing in style. [A second bottle displays more dark chocolate aromas.] The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins and a fine bead of acidity. There is a plushness to this Poyferré that belies good backbone underneath and a saline, truffle tinged finish that lingers in the mouth. It just feels a little blunt at the moment but it should flesh out with time. Drink 2023-2048.

Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

This is so powerful and dense with amazing tannin quality that reminds me of dense clouds, because they are agile and light. Multilayered. Extremely long, too. Punchy! One of the best wines I have ever had from here.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged in 80% new oak barriques, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Morello cherries, plum preserves and blackberry pie, giving way to nuances of cedar chest, unsmoked cigars, vanilla pod and sassafras, plus a waft of crushed rocks. The palate is full-bodied, rich and decadent, delivering hedonic black fruits and lots of spicy accents with a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and satisfyingly savory. This is a very impressive showing that is delicious out of the gate but has the backbone to give a good 30 years or more of pleasure. Drink 2024-2054.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (End of Mar), March 2021

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré begins sporting a veil of cedar, opening out to reveal profound notions of crème de cassis, warm kirsch, Black Forest cake and Indian spices plus hints of chargrilled meats and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the taut, muscular black fruit has a solid frame of firm, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of savory nuances. Aging is anticipated to be for 18 months in barriques, 80% new. The current blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

One of the gems in the vintage will be the 2018 Château Léoville-Poyferré, which is a powerful, incredibly sexy wine based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, representing just 45% of the total production. In the same ballpark as the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010, its deep purple color is followed by a rich, opulent bouquet of sweet black and blue fruits, tobacco, and graphite. Both intellectually and hedonistically satisfying, it fills the mouth with fruit, has remarkable purity and precision for such a powerful wine, sweet tannins, and a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It's similar in character to the 2009 and will keep for three decades or more. This wine checks in at 14.4% alcohol, with a pH of 3.7, and a massive (one of the highest in the vintage) IPT value of 90. Tasted twice.

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

This is brimming with plum, blackberry and blueberry reduction flavors, backed by grippy, energetic bramble, licorice and apple wood notes. Chockablock with stuff but defined and balanced. A no-brainer for the cellar.

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019
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.