Chateau Leoville Las Cases (slightly torn label) 2002
Only 43% of the production made it into the final blend of this remarkable 2002. Produced from a low 17 hectoliters per hectare, it includes 66.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 13.9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It has the highest alcohol ever achieved in a Leoville Las Cases (13.5%) as well as a lofty pH of 3.85. Nevertheless, the impression is one of a structured wine with considerable density, a ruby/purple color, layers of flavor, and a classic overall personality. The wine exhibits pure black currant, licorice-infused fruit, huge body, a viscous mid-palate, and a long, heady finish. I suspect this wine won’t be nearly as charming as the 2003 in its youth, but it hasn’t yet closed down, and I am amazed at just how rich, intense, and full-bodied it tastes even after bottling. This is certainly one of the half dozen or so candidates for wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030+.
This is the essence of currants and berries with minerals and flowers. Full-bodied, with silky, refined tannins. Superlong and impressive. A beauty. Love it. As it should be.
Moderately saturated red-ruby. Captivating if cooler nose of blackcurrant, licorice and minerals. Very intensely flavored and gripping if currently quite tight. The black fruit and menthol flavors show an almost medicinal austerity and uncanny penetration on the palate. Very ripe for 2002, at 13.5%, with a pH of 3.85. Today, I find a more classically firm finish and a bit more personality than in the young 2004, but then the new vintage has a long way to go before it's in bottle.
Chateau Leoville Las CasesView all wine
The estate stretches from Chateau Beychevelle down to Chateau Latour, and the main... View More
A source of Sonoma Cabernet that can rival its Napa Valley neighbors...
A source of Sonoma Cabernet that can rival its Napa Valley neighbors, the Alexander Valley is the hottest AVA in the county. This large and heavily planted appellation is only 25 miles from the coast, but it is relatively free of fog due to the sheltering effects of the mountain ranges in between. However, the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cool-climate pockets and soft, alluvial soil ideal for grape-growing.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and other [Bordeaux] varieties as well as Zinfandel thrive here, all of which take on a bold and voluptuous personality. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have been discovered here, and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and [Barbera] show great promise.