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C’est Las Cases!

Wine Rants

‘95 Leoville Las Cases $200 A+ -25 *****
Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc/Petit Verdot

I often tell friends that if they don’t recognize wines on a restaurant list to get a “St.-Julien”. The odds are stacked in favor. They rarely go wrong. Leoville Las Cases is my St.-Julien, for it is reminiscent of a Pauillac Bad-Boy. It has meat, concentration, and finesse. This is the 10th time I’ve had the ’95, with each addition tasting better than the previous. Since my first encounter, it has continuously been my favorite Bordeaux from that vintage. This particular bottle was a bit too cold, but it was brilliant. The brooding fruit finish was tattooed in my mouth ...

, satisfying all of the wants and needs of brilliant juice with structure and heroic character. This medium to full-bodied jewel is everything Bordeaux can be. About half-way through the bottle, you begin to wonder what you will do when it’s gone.

Leoville Las Cases shares the original Leoville estate (French Revolution) with Leoville-Barton and Leoville-Poyferre. Often compared to Ducru-Beaucaillou, which I’ll never understand, outside of the backwardness just out of the gate, Las Cases is my favorite St.-Julien producer and one of my favorite producers of wine, period! It is a 2nd Growth that consistently outshines some of the 1st Growths, especially its Pauillac neighbor, Latour. There are two 2nd labels, Clos du Marquis and Grand Parc. Price wise, the Clos du Marquis is in the realm of Sociando-Mallet, but taste wise, it is a snooty best-of-breed upper-classman. There is also a 3rd label, Bignarnon.

The ’95 Leoville Las Cases is one of my favorite ‘vintage evolution’ explorations and is a reminder of how genius wine can be!

On a sidenote, this was going to be the first year that I decided not to bring one of these to SXSWine (judgement with ‘hand on bottle’). After the festivities began, I was extremely excited to see its arrival. Someone else brought one!

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