2009 Leoville Lascases

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Average critic rating : 97.42 points



The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien. Wine Advocate.February, 2012



Tasted at the château. A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, with 6.4% vin de presse, delivering 13.4% alcohol and a pH of 3.65. The nose has brilliant delineation: this is the first thing that hits you, as if you can peer into the clos of the vineyard itself. Very expressive, almost feminine and wily, crystalline (this is something that I did not expect.) The palate is medium-bodied, saturated and supple on the entry, seamless tannins, a sense of controlled opulence here, very pure, rounded towards the finish, again, gliding across the mouth and caressing, rather than gripping it. The finish is very pure, almost Napa in style, but retaining sufficient structure and prudency of alcohol to allow that Saint Julien terroir to shine through. This is an irresistible Las-Cases, perhaps a modern day ’85? Tasted March 2010.



Amazing aromas of cep mushrooms, dark fruits and fresh flowers, follow through to a full body and super velvety tannins with a long long finish. Gorgeous structure to this. Sexy and almost decadent. Just like when I tasted it in Hong Kong. Try in 2019. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com



Black color. What a nose. Black licorice, raspberry, currant and dried flowers galore. Full-bodied and superpowerful, with masses of fruit and toasted oak, but a blockbuster finish of fruit, tannins and everything else. I have never tasted such a flashy sample. I am blown away by this. A more fruit-forward style for Las Cases



Very deep crimson. Subtle with great depth of fruit and a hint of tobacco. This seems much sweeter and lusher than Léoville Las Cases usually does even if there is a lot of tannin underneath. Really quite voluptuous – what Bruno Borie claimed in Ducru? – but lots of fancy tannin and a bit of alcohol on the finish. Very firm but a bit of a step change with all that sweetness on the top.



Deep purple red, naturally concentrated bouquet over really smooth, sophisticated fruit with a taffeta lift, great purity and depth of vineyard fruit, superb elegance and length. Drink 2018-40

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 21/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Leoville Lascases 2009
-£415.00     (-15.91%) Latest price:  £2,194.00
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Léoville Las Cases: The Importance

One of the leading estates in all of Bordeaux, Château Léoville Las Cases in St Julien is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Médoc. Along with Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, it is widely considered to be one of the best estates in St Julien. 


Ranked as a deuxième cru classé in the 1855 classification, Léoville Las Cases is often mentioned as a candidate for promotion to first growth status. The Oxford Companion to Wine describes this estate as “the flagship wine of St-Julien and one run as though it were a First Growth…perhaps the most obvious candidate as a super second.”


Highly regarded by critics such as Robert Parker, some of the Château’s best vintages have been 1986, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2014 and 2015, with Léoville Las Cases performing well even in the most difficult of vintages. Praising the 2009 vintage, Stephen Tanzer wrote that “this endless, subtle wine is at first growth level.”


Léoville Las Cases: The Insight

Léoville Las Cases is located at the northern tip of the St Julien appellation, with the Grand Vin’s vineyards bordering those of Château Latour and running alongside the boundary of Pauillac. The Grand Vin shares some characteristics of its neighbours; Julia Harding MW considers it to have “something of a Pauillac about it”.


The Grand Vin is typically deep and rich, with aromas that Antonio Galloni describes as “blackberry jam, charcoal, smoke, licorice and asphalt.” Notably, it requires considerable cellaring before showing its true potential, with Julia Harding MW writing after a tasting of Léoville Las Cases, that it showed “how long these wines need before they are broached, but also how well they last.”


The second wine of the Grand Vin produced at this estate is called Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases, which uses the product of the younger vines at the estate and had its first release in 2007. Antonio Galloni described the 2015 vintage as “racy, opulent and inviting… [hitting] all the right notes,” with notes of “crème de cassis, blackberry, spice, leather and menthol.”


This estate also produces another important wine, the Clos du Marquis, which began production in 1902, and which the estate stresses is not a second wine. The fruit comes from a different source than the Grand Vin, although occasionally some of the Grand Vin is declassified and put into the blend of Clos du Marquis. It is lighter in style than the Grand Vin, and, as Harding writes, “a good deal more charming in youth.” Typically, this wine has as Robert Parker writes of the 2015 vintage, “a pure and harmonious bouquet with blackberry, sous-bois and subtle tobacco aromas that gently unfold in the glass.” In 2015, a new second wine for Clos du Marquis was released called La Petite Marquise, described by Tim Atkin as “easy drinking, fruit forward St. Julien showing aromatic red fruits, a touch of oak and succulent tannins.”


A typical St Julien blend, the vineyard is planted to mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) with the rest being made up of Merlot (19%), Cabernet Franc (13%) and Petit Verdot (3%).


Léoville Las Cases: The Background

The history of the domaine goes back to the 17th century, with the vast estate of Léoville being split up into three parts following the death of the Marquis de Las Cases in the 19th Century. The largest third went to his son Jean-Pierre and this is now Léoville Las Cases, with another third going to his daughter Jeanne, what is now Léoville Poyferré, and the last third being auctioned off to Hugh Barton and becoming Léoville Barton. From 1900, the estate was run by Théophile Swawinski, a well-known viticulturist who also ran Château Pontet-Canet, who passed the estate to his son-in-law André Delon. The estate has stayed with this family ever since, and they acquired majority ownership in 1930 and bought out the remaining shareholders in 1994, and the estate is now entirely owned by the Delon family, with Bruno Rolland running the cellar, the third generation of his family to hold that position. The Delon family also own Château Potensac in the Médoc and Château Nenin in Pomerol.

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