Leoville Las Cases 2005

St Julien, Second Growth

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Tasting Notes

The Château Léoville Las-Cases 2005 has a surprisingly backward bouquet that has clearly decided to let Poyferré have all the fun at the moment. This is very well defined but extremely tight, reluctantly offering blackberry, wet tobacco and iris scents to eke from the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and acidity. It is not as deep or as concentrated as I was anticipating, brutally shy in the glass with a linear finish that says: 'Come back another day.' Say in 2025.

Score: 95

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2023-2050 15 February 2015

Saturated ruby-red. A confiture of dark berries on the nose, with a complicating torrefaction note of coffee. Fat, sweet, plump and full, with a silky, enveloping texture rare for this wine in its youth. The highly concentrated cassis, violet and bitter chocolate flavors really take over the mouth and stay awhile. The huge, chocolatey finish features big, ripe, building tannins. One can easily taste this massive wine today, but there are great reserves here to ensure a long and slow evolution in bottle-and I would not be at all surprised if it shut down soon for a very long time. Our cabernet sauvignon was perfectly ripe in both '05 and '06, noted cellarmaster Rolland. (95+ points)

Score: 95

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2008

Another titanic effort from the Delon family, the 2005 Leoville Las Cases is probably the greatest wine made at this estate since Jean-Hubert Delon’s father produced the 1986 and 1996. Only 37% of the production made it into the 2005, a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with less than 13% Merlot and Cabernet Franc. An inky/ruby/purple color is accompanied by reticent aromatics that, with considerable coaxing, offer up subtle notes of toasty vanillin intermixed with lead pencil shavings, wet rocks, and enormously ripe, intense black cherry and creme de cassis. The wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel as well as enormous extract, concentration, and purity. This ageless, monumental claret requires a minimum of 15-20 years to approach maturity, and should last for a half century. It is about as classic a Leoville Las Cases as one will find.

Score: 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2060 30 April 2008

The 2005 Leoville Las Cases is revealing more power, weight, and richness than it did last year. Made from 37% of the total production, it is a blend of 87.6% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A dense ruby/purple hue is accompanied by abundant amounts of sweet black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, pain grille, graphite, and crushed rock-like characteristics. The high tannin levels and freshness noted a year ago remain intact, but the wine has filled out in the middle, revealing greater richness as well as fuller body. It appears set for an incredibly long life. From its birth, Jean-Hubert Delon has compared the 2005 to the 1996 and 1986 produced by his father, and that has become even more evident as it has aged in barrel. This classic St.-Julien should be at its peak between 2018-2050+.

Score: 94 - 96

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2050+ 30 April 2007

For Jean-Hubert Delon, Leoville Las-Cases’ 2005 is reminiscent of the 1996 and 1986. Only 37% of the production made it into the final blend of 87.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.6% Merlot, and 4.8% Cabernet Franc. The 13.1% alcohol content is actually lower than the 2002's, because of the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. The vibrant, fresh 2005 reveals high tannin along with a beautiful deep ruby/purple color, and classic notes of cassis and cherries intermixed with minerals and a judicious touch of toasty oak. This concentrated, classically built, structured claret is meant for the long haul, but it will not provide much pleasure over the next decade.

Score: 92 - 94

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2015-2030+ 30 April 2006

This is breathtaking. Black in color, with incredible aromas of crushed blackberry, mineral, licorice and lead pencil. Full-bodied, with a mind-blowing texture of seamless tannins that coat every millimeter of the palate. Goes on and on, with licorice, currant and flowers. Time will tell if it's better than the 2000. Best after 2017. 20,000 cases made.

Score: 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2017+ 31 March 2008

Sensational aromas of currants, berries, minerals and flowers. Full-bodied, with big, chewy tannins. Starts off slowly, then builds on the palate and goes on and on. Could be even better than 2000, and I gave that 100. This wine makes my head spin. Amazing. Layered and long. This is so 100-points.

Score: 95 - 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2006

Very very deep crimson. Very very stereotype ‘masculine’ and savoury to Clos du Marquis’ more feminine and silky charms on the nose and then wonderful energy and bright fruit yet lovely texture - much less tough than usual. Vibrant and full throttle without being jagged and uncompromising. Fine and dense and really, really St-Julien. Extremely opulent without being at all sweet. The clay gives the intensity but the soils are very complex. As at Latour, the tannins are very silky and round yet the fruit is amazingly intense. There’s a real stylistic relationship between Latour and Las Cases this year.

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2017-2035 11 April 2006

This top second growth neighbours Chateau Latour on the border of Saint Julien and Pauillac. Regularly one of the top wines of the vintage with a serious claim to First Growth status, we were very excited to taste the 2005 here. Looking back at previous vintages of Lascases, Jean-Hubert Delon says that the 2005 has the depth of 1986, the elegance of 1996 and the velvety tannins of 1982. It is fabulously concentrated and rich on the nose with multiple layers of cassis, minerals and pure licorice. On the palate it is strikingly dense. Very voluptuous with a lusciously smooth mouthfeel and immense power beneath. Awesome dimensions and tannic structure but all in perfect balance. A fabulous Lascases.

Score: -

Albany Vintners, - 30 November -0001