2018 Chateau Leoville-Las Cases 'Grand Vin de Leoville' Saint Julien 2nd Classified Growth

  • 200pt 2nd Growth Bordeaux
  • Critically Acclaimed 96 Point Vintage
  • One of Bordeaux's Top Estates Year after Year
  • "Wine of the Vintage" ~Decanter
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About the Wine

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). Château Léoville 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.

The Clos encases a terroir of very great complexity. It is mainly composed of Quaternary gravel ("graves") over gravelly sand and gravelly clay subsoils. Leoville also finds clays that are variably deep and compact, but which sometimes break through to the surface. The proximity of the Gironde River has created the wide diversity of soils, formed over various geological periods by successive superimpositions.

The river also creates a special microclimate that enables very early ripening of the grapes and protects the vineyards from frost. This cameo of geological combinations influences the growth of the vine and the composition of the grapes: regular but restricted water supply and a very low intake of nutrients bring out the best in the great Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs which usually achieve their full potential whatever the vintage. The incomparable terroir gives this great wine its unique personality.

Tasting Notes80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 9%  Cabernet Franc. The 2018 vintage offers a beautifully accomplished maturity and, as promised, a very long aging potential. The wine is powerful, exceptionally structured and full-bodied, complex and opulent but perfectly balanced, with outstanding freshness and a glorious finesse.


Pure magic and one of the finest expressions of this estate I could imagine, as well as a perfect wine, the 2018 Château Léoville Las Cases comes from a mix of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc that spent 19 months in (I believe) all new French oak. Its dense purple color is followed by a profound wine loaded with notions of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, melon, crushed stone, tobacco, and violets. Full-bodied, concentrated, and massive on the palate, yet also incredibly well delineated and precise, it has a wonderful mix of seemingly ripe, sunny fruit from a warm year yet the minerality, purity, and precision of a cooler year. This wine is going to be just about immortal; however, do your best to hide bottles for a solid 10-15 years. ~100 Jeb Dunnuck

Deep dark ruby, opaque core, purple reflections, delicate bright rim. Delicate noble wood savouriness, fine black forest berry confit, a hint of licorice and blackberries, multi-faceted bouquet. Powerful, fruit expression, ripe super tannins, mineral and very long lasting, great freshness, ripe black cherries, will need longer time in the bottle, huge potential, a Vin de Garde. ~100 Falstaff

The 2018 Léoville Las Cases is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot, harvested September 15 to October 4 with yields of 35.5 hectoliters per hectare, it has 14.49% alcohol and was aged in 90% new barriques. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a fair bit of coaxing to reveal striking scents of blackcurrant pastilles, wild blueberries, and redcurrant jelly, giving way to notions of crushed rocks, lavender, Indian spices, unsmoked cigars, and black truffles, plus a provocative waft of rose oil. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, accented by bright, lively red berry and floral sparks. It has a rock-solid frame of firm, ripe, grainy tannin's and bold freshness, finishing very long and wonderfully minerally. The tannin's are so beautifully approachable even at this youthful stage, making it delicious to drink now, but afford it 5-6 years in bottle to allow those finer nuances to emerge and drink it over the next 40+ years. ~99 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

An elegant, complex nose of blackberries, blueberries, and herbal and spice notes with dark-chocolate and earthy undertones. Violets, flowers, and graphite, too. It’s full-bodied with firm, layered tannins and a crushed-stone undertone throughout the fresh, velvety, and layered palate. Very complex, muscular, and formed. The finish is endless. Lowest percentage of press wine ever in this. So deep. Try after 2027. ~99 James Suckling

This has such a textured, ripe, plump, and poised black fruit character that is clear from the aromatics alone. Mouthfilling with huge texture and density, full of licorice root, black chocolate shavings, and cocoa pod with crème de cassis edging. This is delicious and has chewy tannins that you can pick up with a shovel. One of the 'wines of the vintage'. Only 2% of press wine (unusually low, as it can go up to 15% in some years). It grips on tight to the finish - extremely impressive. 90% new oak. Drinking Window 2028 - 2050 ~99 Decanter

Stylistically different, but not far off from the level of quality found in the perfect 2016, this is a future legendary vintage of Leoville Las Cases. As you begin to nose the wine you find a boatload of crème de cassis, Cuban cigars, smoke, forest leaf, tobacco, blackberry, coffee bean, flowers, and earthy aromas. Full-bodied, rich, and dense, the wine meshes power with soft, supple, round, rich layers of fruit that feel just great as they coat your palate. Long and intense, comparing this with the 2016 and 2019 over the decades is going to be a lot of fun. ~99 The Wine Cellar Insider

Think of Cohiba Esplendido ' or another top cigar ' and here it is, on the nose. The wine takes the best characteristics of 2018 ' veritably opulent and dense ' but includes much impressive finesse and elegance and delectable sap. Sure, full-body, but never too much, ending with pristine, precise, and persistent length. In short, a Top Ten bottle of 2018, with (stiff) competition from the First Growths (all re-tasted except for Latour). Yet more proof that Las Cases qualifies for First Growth status. 2018 easily rivals the superb 2016. While tasting from barrel last year, director Pierre Graffeuille mused that the concentration was such ' typically the estate uses about 10% press wine, but only 2.3% was used to make the 2019 ' that he considered aging the wine in oak longer than usual, up to 20 months. But fears of too much oak tannin extraction from rather high alcohol wine, clocking in at just under 14.5%, led them to stick with 18 months aging. Indeed, remarkable freshness, too, for this vintage. ~99 The Wine Chronicles

Layered with dry tannins and concentrated texture, this major wine offers an impressive structure and promises considerable aging. Black-currant fruits are still tied to the tannins. The wine exudes richness and a classic profile. To say this wine will age is an understatement. Do not touch before 2028 at the earliest. ~98 Wine Enthusiast 

Reserved, even reticent, at first, but like a cold fireplace brought back to life it slowly reveals beautifully handcrafted notes of cassis, plum reduction and blackberry puree along with hints of charcoal, warm cast iron and sweet bay leaf. A violet note chimes on the seriously long finish, adding a tantalizing treble note. A precise, regal, terroir-driven wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2028 through 2042. ~97 Wine Spectator

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