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Leoville-Poyferre: The Importance
Thanks to its prestigious past and exceptional investments over the last few decades, Léoville-Poyferré has restored its reputation among the elites of the Saint-Julien appellation. According to Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider, the property has become “one of the most consistent producers of high quality Bordeaux since 2000” under the management of Didier Cuvelier.
The 2009 Léoville-Poyferré received a perfect 100 point score from Robert Parker who deemed it as “a wine to purchase by the case-load.” Classified as a Deuxième Cru Classé (Second Growth), the estate is comparable to the best properties in the Médoc while selling at somewhat more economical prices. Neal Martin put it best when he said: “It is a wine for lovers of modern, stylish claret, with a penchant for full-bodied, fruit-driven, glycerin-rich wines and since it is always well-priced, this is certainly a wine for the oenophile, not the profit-hunter.”
The tasting room at the château contains a white wall of scrawled quotes from tasters (see picture top left). On this wall Michael Schuster - wine expert, writer and lecturer – wrote that Poyferré is “always the most ‘refined’ of the Léovilles for me.”
Leoville-Poyferre: The Insight
Although the 2009 is certainly the finest of the Léoville-Poyferrés, the estate produced a string of exceptional vintages since 2000.
The estate produces two additional wines, Moulin Riche and Pavillon de Léoville-Poyferré. Moulin Riche, a bit more accessible in its youth than the Léoville-Poyferré, is produced from a distinct 21 hectare parcel of vineyard on the property. Pavillon de Léoville-Poyferré, the second wine of Léoville-Poyferré, is made from the estate’s youngest vines and is a fruity cuvee.
Léoville-Poyferré has produced a range of kosher alternatives to its wines that Jancis Robinson says “taste remarkably similar to the non-kosher versions.” The 2005 Léoville-Poyferré in particular stands out as the most popular with the critics.
Leoville-Poyferre: The Background
The Léoville-Poyferré legacy begins in the nineteenth century when the expansive Léoville estate in Médoc was divided between the heirs of Bordeaux bourgeoisie member, Alexandre de Gascq-Léoville, to establish Léoville Barton, Léoville Las-Cases, and in 1840, Léoville-Poyferré. In 1920 the Cuvelier family, starting as wine traders in 1804, purchased Léoville-Poyferré and Moulin Riche from the Lawton family. In 1979 Didier Cuvelier took control of the estate as well as Château Le Crock, the family’s 32-hectare vineyard in Saint- Estèphe. The Cuvelier’s wine empire extended to the foot of the Andes Mountains in 1998, when Bertrand Cuvelier purchased land in Argentina to sell wine under the label Cuvelier Los Andes.
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