chateau leoville las cases 2eme cru classe, saint-julien 2020
The 2020 Léoville–Las Cases was picked September 12–29 and matured in 80% new oak with 13.68° alcohol. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in the driving seat on the nose, offering almost saturnine black fruit, pencil shavings and cedar, perhaps one of the most Pauillac-like bouquets that I have noticed on this wine out of barrel, which is no surprise considering its vines adjoin that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied, strict and linear at first, that Pauillac tincture the continuing theme thanks to conspicuous graphite/pencil lead notes interwoven into the black fruit. There is plenty of freshness here and impressive weight, yet no sense of heaviness toward the finish.
The flagship 2020 Château Léoville Las Cases checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Merlot, raised in 80% new French oak. Hitting 13.68% in alcohol with a Ph of 3.8 and an IPT of 79, it shows the dense, concentrated, focused style of the vintage and it's going to be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Deep purple-hued, with an incredible sense of minerality in its blackcurrant and black cherry fruits, it's full-bodied, has a rich, layered mid-palate, lots of tannins, and a great finish. It's a beautiful wine and holds onto the more inward, concentrated style of the vintage while still showing serious depth of fruit. It's going to take a decade (or more) of bottle age to get anywhere close to the early stages of maturity but will keep for 30-40 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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
A subtle intensity where the power steals up on you through the palate - this is an excellent example of what Las Cases can deliver. Intellectual, concentrated and reined in for the foreseeable future. You get the full array of serious St-Julien character - pencil lead, cigar box, cassis bud, bilberry, earth and granite-edged tannins, this needs time. Very little press wine was used because this has such a plainly evident natural intensity. Needs time, but knowing how this estate is a slow burner even in generous vintages, you are going to need a lot of patience for this vintage to reach its drinking window. Impressive, not yet showing its heart. May be upscored once in bottle.