Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2001 (review)

91+ points

St Julien, Bordeaux.

Clive Coates and Robert Parker agree that this wine is consistently of 1st growth quality. And like most of us I don’t get to try 1st growths very often, to say the least. So this was very interesting.

Interestingly it smells like a top NZ cabernet (like Te Mata) ie great oak on distinctively varietal fruit.

Tastes sleek (glycerol) and incredibly concentrated. Somewhat like a top South African cabernet in ripeness and they too often have this sort of dry (pencil shavings) not sweet French oak. Surprisingly quite New World, but perhaps due to youth. It really is very concentrated – I know I’ve already said that, but it is a standout feature. Dense fruit lots of oak. Not for drinking now, other than as an academic exercise (vinicide).

Very interesting rather than a lot of fun. I’m reluctant to give higher points, I expected something more distinctive rather than so densely concentrated. Needs quite a few years of aging, eg at least 5.

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