Amazing combination of the stoniness and backbone of traditional Las Cases with extraordinary vitality and energy, all overlaid with fully ripe fruit. Such richness! Round tannins but the most youthful wine I have yet encountered. Extremely minerally and thrilling. Jean-Hubert Delon bemoans the fact he will not be alive to see it at its peak, and is convinced it will shut down at some point. It is glorious to taste now. 19/20 points (JR)
Léoville Las Cases is usually a brutish, powerful wine, especially when young. The 2016, on the other hand, is a wine of total finesse. There is almost no sensation of tannin, even though the wine has the highest degree of tannin ever measured here. Sometimes wines can go from the merely outstanding into the realm of the sublime. That is very much the case with the 2016 Léoville Las Cases. I could describe the aromas and flavors, but that seems superfluous for a wine that delivers so much pure pleasure. Silky (yes, silky) tannins wrap around a super-expressive finish laced with the essence of blue/purplish fruit, crème de cassis, lavender and blueberry jam. (AG)
Full of the ripest Cabernet Sauvignon, this is an impressive wine. Dark and tannic, it still has room for considerable fruitiness. It balances dense tannins and layers of black plum fruit along with the freshness of the vintage. Everything is in its place; it just needs time, plenty of time. (RV)
A brick house, with layers of cold charcoal, smoldering tobacco, warm cassis, dark plum and blueberry reduction flavors all working seamlessly together. The charcoal edge underscores the entire finish, which is focused and ridiculously long. (JM)
A unique Las Cases that harkens back to some of the great classics such as 1985 or 1986 with its solid backbone of tannins and a walnut, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and powerful, characterized throughout by a steeliness that shows its strength and energy. Better than the 2015. Ultra-classic.
The 2016 Leoville-Las Cases comprises 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 19 October, during which the harvesters were out in the vines for 16 days. It is matured in 90% new oak and delivers 13.60% alcohol and an IPT of 82. It is initially tightly coiled on the nose and needed coaxing from the glass. There are scents of small black cherries, boysenberry, crushed violets and a slight flintiness that emerges with time. The definition is very impressive—you can almost pick the aromas out one by one. The palate is awe-inspiring. The tannins are so filigree, in fact not dissimilar to their neighbor across the border at Château Latour. That seam of graphite lends this Léoville Las-Cases a Pauillac-like personality, but ignoring stylistic similarities, it is the intensity, depth and arching structure that astounds, with detail on the finish that rivets your feet to the spot. Then the finish is ultra-precise, one of the most mineral-driven that I have encountered in almost 20 years visiting the estate, plus it is endowed with one the longest aftertastes you will find in 2016. Yeah, it's good. (NM)
Nothing under 20 years old supplies fruit for the grand vin de Léoville. It's extremely dark and rich, a stately purple in colour with some violet around the rim. Right from the off it expands upwards and outwards, showing polished dark, dark fruits such as black cherry and cassis, alongside slate, liquorice and rosemary. It's mouthfilling and almost less austere than all of the others, yet it's a serious wine. The tannins close in on themselves at the end, showing how this is built to last. A great advert for the whole of Bordeaux, and for me it's the clear wine of the vintage. Drinking Window 2026 - 2045. (JA)
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