Chateau Leoville-Las Casesis one of the oldest Medoc estates, Domaine de Léoville belonged to some of the wealthiest and most influential noble French families before it was acquired by the Las Cases family. The estate was split up between 1826 and 1840 as a result of the French Revolution. (Expropriation of emigrants’ property and constitution of egalitarian redistribution). Chateau Leoville Las Cases was created, thanks to a kind of birthright, from 3/5 of the original estate and the heart of the domain.
The Grand Vin’s current terroir has therefore been at the historic heart of the original terroir since the 17th century. Pierre Jean, Adolphe and Gabriel de Las Cases were successive heirs to the property until 1900, when Théophile Skawinski purchased a share in the estate and became its manager. Léoville Las Cases has now been managed by the same family since the late 19th century and is today represented by Jean-Hubert Delon, sole owner of the Château and proprietor of Château Potensac in the Medoc and Château Nénin in Pomerol.
Most common varietal blend of Leoville-Las Cases:
- 66% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 24% Merlot
- 9% Cabernet Franc
- 1% Petit Verdot
Interestingly, this 98 hectare vineyard made increase in the Merlot plantings over the past several years. The Leoville Las Cases vineyard underwent major replanting during the 1950’s after the legendary frost.
The vineyard has a terroir that is mostly gravel with gravelly sand and gravelly clay in their soils. Today the vines average more than 40 years of age. However, they have old vines. The oldest vines are some of their Cabernet Franc, which are close to 90 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 8,600 vines per hectare.
The still, large 98 hectare vineyard of Leoville Las Cases does not have the size it did in its youth. But it remains a very large Bordeaux vineyard. It is the largest vineyard of all three Leoville estates.
The heart of their vineyard is known as the Grand Enclos. That walled in parcel is situated in the north of Saint Julien, bordering Pauillac. In fact, it is located next door to Chateau Latour on the north side. Only a very small stream, “The Juillac” separates the 2 vineyards.
FOOD PAIRINGS AND SERVINGS
Château Leoville Las Cases is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. It is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Leoville Las Cases is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.
Extended coaxing, cedar, lead pencil, cassis, tobacco and forest floor aromas come alive. Powerful, tannic, concentrated and backwards, this lassic and classy Bordeaux demands another decade or longer before it's civilized.
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