As you leave Saint-Julien village for Pauillac, you’ll find the former Leoville estate and the Clos Leoville Las Cases. This exceptional terroir has made a fast fan out of James Suckling, and this beauty is “Real Las Cases,” according to him. “Incredibly classic in style with so much currant, lead pencil, crushed stone and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with minerally, stoney, and powerful tannins... Solid as a rock.” It may take a decade for this wine to truly come into its power, but it will happily rule the cellar for another 30 years.
This is incredibly classic in style with so much currant, lead pencil, crushed stone and sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied with minerally, stoney and powerful tannins. It goes on and one. Real Las Cases here. Solid as a rock. Progresses to violet, graphite and licorice at the end.
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot, aging in 80% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.68%, a pH of 3.8 and an IPT (tannins index) of 79. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Merlot from the 12th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc on the 18th and 19th of September. With an opaque purple-black color, it slowly unfurls to reveal beguiling notes of fresh blackcurrants, Morello cherries, candied violets and dark chocolate, giving way to an undercurrent of crushed rocks, unsmoked cigars, clove oil and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate is a powerhouse of energy, delivering tightly wound red and black fruits, mineral and floral layers, supported by fantastic tension and incredibly ripe, silt-like tannins. The finish has jaw-dropping fragrance and depth.
The 2020 Léoville Las Cases comes across as a super-classic Saint-Julien that combines mid-weight structure of previous decades, with the greater textural finesse that has become the norm here in recent years. A shy introvert, the 2020 Las Cases won’t impress with size or brawn as is often the case, but with a total sense of finesse. Readers with classically leaning palates will flip out over the 2020. I can't wait to watch it evolve, hopefully for many decades to come. It is certainly one of the standouts of the year at this point.