Chateau Leoville Las Cases Saint Julien [Pre-arrival] 2019
JS98-99: So structured for the vintage, but there’s freshness and vibrancy from the acidity. Full-bodied, extremely creamy and polished. Plush silk. Extremely long, linear and compact. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot and 10% cabernet franc.
VM96-98: The 2019 Léoville Las-Cases was picked from 18 September to 8 October and matured in 90% new oak barrels. Typically deep and limpid in colour, it has a knockout nose with penetrating blackberry, bilberry and blueberry fruit struck through with an accentuated marine/oyster shell element. The palate is beautiful, the fine-grain tannins framing delineated, mineral-infused black fruit. There is a clarity to this Grand Vin that places it amongst Jean-Hubert Delon's finest releases in recent years and it is blessed with astounding length. You come away with the feeling of a nascent wine boasting immense coiled-up energy that will guarantee its longevity. Stunning.
WA97-99+: The 2019 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 11% Merlot. Harvest began early for the Merlot, on the 18th of September, and the Cabernets were picked in October, finishing on the 8th of October. The IPT number (measurement of tannins) is 80—the same as 2018. The alcohol came at 14.02% (lower than 2018), but it does seem a little lower than this percentage, probably because the pH is a little lower this year, at 3.67. It is aging in French oak barriques, 90% new. The color is opaque purple-black, with a nose that unfurls slowly in the glass, beginning with vibrant, expressive black fruit notes of freshly crushed blackcurrants, ripe blackberries and fresh black cherries, followed by a beguiling array of floral and earth nuances—candied violets, lavender, fragrant soil, underbrush, crushed rocks and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied wine dances ever so gracefully on the palate, demurely revealing tightly wound layers of of bright, crunchy black fruits and tantalizing floral and mineral sparks, supported by a rock-solid structure of firm, finely grained tannins and fantastic tension, finishing with epic persistence. Although the style is completely different, the barrel sample is behaving a lot like the Haut-Brion sample was when I tasted it, in that it appears to be holding just that little bit extra back right now. I have to call it as I see it today, but I wouldn't be surprised if when I come back to taste this from bottle, it shows me all that and a lot more.