Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien 1975: This came as a big surprise because I usually associate outstanding bottles of Bordeaux from this vintage with only the Right Bank or Graves. But the 1975 Las Cases is superb. It showed gorgeous aromas of dried berry and tobacco with iodine and shells. It was full body, firm with pleasantly chewy tannins and a chalk, berry and lavender aftertaste. Fresh finish. It's still so beautiful.
This is one of the great successes of the vintage. However, those with modern day tastes for soft, easy-going, supple wines may not enjoy the 1975 Leoville Las-Cases. Why? It is a tannic, backward, old style wine cut from the mold of such vintages as 1948 and 1928. The color is a dark ruby/garnet with a hint of amber at the edge. The nose offers up distinctive mineral, lead pencil, sweet, blackcurrant scents with flinty overtones. Full-bodied, thick, and concentrated, as well as atypically muscular and powerful, this should prove to be one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage. There are sensational levels of richness and intensity. While the vintage's tough tannin level ensures another 20-35 years of longevity, the wine may dry out by that time. I thought this wine would be at its peak by the mid-nineties, but it still needs another 5-8 years of cellaring. It is a very impressive, albeit backward and hard wine. (RP)
A good vintage compared with the early 1970s. Paler garnet and some brick at the rim but still quite a bit of red at the core. The first really developed nose of this line up – liquorice and undergrowth and bloody and a touch of mint. Very bloody. Much juicier than I expected after the nose, high acidity, resolved tannins but a slightly lean finish. Acid starting to stick out. More old-fashioned style. (JH)
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