The 2019 Léoville–Las Cases, bottled July 2021, retains the energetic, vivacious bouquet that I noticed last year from the barrel sample, offering intense blackberry, bilberry and still those faint shucked oyster shell scents in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with wonderful detail and precision, a mixture of black and blue fruit and enthralling clarity and length. Perhaps there is a little more creaminess in terms of texture toward the finish, a bit of “baby fat” that will be subsumed with time, so give this 8–10 years in bottle if you want to taste it in full flight. [Returning after 15 or 20 minutes, I discerned more pepperiness on the finish, and perhaps also less creaminess and more structure.] 14.02% alcohol.
Anticipated maturity: 2028-2070
Jane Anson 98
This is just a great Las Cases where the structure expands upwards and outwards, making your tastebuds sit up and pay attention. The scraping minerality almost feels like you are on limestone instead of gravel soils, until the tannins kick in and you hit a wall of slate, spice, liquorice, rosebud, violet. Dark autumnal fruits of blackcurrant and bilberry are set against smoke and flint, giving no ground, demanding you slow down and take your time. It opens up, but you need to work for it. Exudes authority, a wine that delivers the essence of the property. Harvest September 18 to October 8. 3.67pH, 90% new oak.
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2050
James Suckling 98
Currants and blackberries with crushed stones, bark and some conifer and pine cone. Perfumed. Discreet. Medium-to full-bodied with an integrated tannin structure that’s full of fine tannins that are weightless and seamless, building on the palate and coming out at the end. Needs five or six years to open. Texture of heavy silk. 79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. Try after 2027.
Robert Parker 98
The 2019 Léoville Las Cases is a brilliant young wine that will delight Bordeaux purists. Unwinding in the glass with scents of cassis, dark berries, cigar wrapper and pencil shavings, it’s full-bodied, layered and tightly wound, with a deep core of fruit, lively acids and an abundance of rich, powdery tannins. Concentrated and serious, much like its immediate neighbor Château Latour, it is likely to emerge as one of the vintage’s longest lived—and greatest—wines.
Anticipated maturity: 2035-2065
Jeb Dunnuck 97+
More backward, deep, and layered, the Grand Vin 2019 Château Léoville Las Cases is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 90% new French oak. Just awesome aromatics of pure crème de cassis, graphite, tobacco leaf, burning embers, and gravelly earth all soar from the glass. This is followed by a quintessential Léoville Las Cases that’s medium to full-bodied, pure, concentrated, and regal on the palate, with beautiful tannins. The purity of fruit is spot on, it’s flawlessly balanced, and it’s going to age for decades. While it offers pleasure today, I’d wager it will take 10-15 years to hit maturity and will be a 50+ year wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2072