Chateau Leoville Las Cases (3 Liter Bottle) 2005
The fruit is harvested by hand. The fermentation vessels include a fascinating mix of wooden, cement and stainless steel vats. When finished the wine is pumped to the barrel cellar. Here it is transferred into oak barrique, between 50% and 100% new for the grand vin, Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, depending on the vintage.
This is breathtaking. Black in color, with incredible aromas of crushed blackberry, mineral, licorice and lead pencil. Full-bodied, with a mind-blowing texture of seamless tannins that coat every millimeter of the palate. Goes on and on, with licorice, currant and flowers. Time will tell if it's better than the 2000. Best after 2017.
Here is one more vintage to prove Las Cases deserves to be elevated to first growth. The Delon family has tended this great terroir as if they were already there. And the wine has the assured stance, the persistence of flavor that lasts long enough to become a memory, an imprint on whatever synaptic connection may store and recall the greatest pleasures of taste. The energy in the wine is remarkable: beautiful, lithe juice that carries a flavor close to tiny currants and black cherries, but a flavor all its own. The deep stones of Le Clos and the roses with their view of the Gironde seem to be there in the wine as well. Harmonious and jazzed. Perhaps this is the vintage.
Another titanic effort from the Delon family, the 2005 Leoville Las Cases is probably the greatest wine made at this estate since Jean-Hubert Delon’s father produced the 1986 and 1996. Only 37% of the production made it into the 2005, a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with less than 13% Merlot and Cabernet Franc. An inky/ruby/purple color is accompanied by reticent aromatics that, with considerable coaxing, offer up subtle notes of toasty vanillin intermixed with lead pencil shavings, wet rocks, and enormously ripe, intense black cherry and creme de cassis. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel as well as enormous extract, concentration, and purity. This ageless, monumental claret requires a minimum of 15-20 years to approach maturity, and should last for a half century. It is about as classic a Leoville Las Cases as one will find. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060.
A big wine with dense tannins, but so elegant. Dark, intense, with layers of acidity underneath that only show through at the end. Unusually, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates this wine, a sign of the ripeness of the Cabernet fruit.
Barrel Sample: 95-97 Points
Saturated ruby-red. A confiture of dark berries on the nose, with a complicating torrefaction note of coffee. Fat, sweet, plump and full, with a silky, enveloping texture rare for this wine in its youth. The highly concentrated cassis, violet and bitter chocolate flavors really take over the mouth and stay awhile. The huge, chocolatey finish features big, ripe, building tannins. One can easily taste this massive wine today, but there are great reserves here to ensure a long and slow evolution in bottle-and I would not be at all surprised if it shut down soon for a very long time. Our cabernet sauvignon was perfectly ripe in both '05 and '06, noted cellarmaster Rolland.
Chateau Leoville Las CasesView all wine
The estate stretches from Chateau Beychevelle down to Chateau Latour, and the main... View More