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Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc
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.
Very complex and alluringly spicy aromas that bubble in and out of the nose, together with fresh tobacco, raspberries and iodine, moving into blackcurrants, blackberries and a gently gravely, stony edge. The palate has incredible polish that is a foil for the intense power and concentration of this wine. The texture is flawless, building smoothly with fine-grained and focused tannins that sustain a long, fresh finish. The new 1986, which was a legend. This is probably better. A blend of 75 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 14 per cent merlot and 11 per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2024.
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.
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.