Leoville Poyferre 2018

St Julien, Second Growth

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Tasting Notes

Every bit as good as the 2009, and I think better than the 2010 and 2016, the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré is a total thrill that tops out my scale. Based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by an incredible, full-bodied monster of a wine that, despite massive amounts of fruit, tannins, and extract, still stays weightless and ethereal, with incredible purity. Loaded with notions of crème de cassis, spring flowers, tobacco, violets, charcoal, and cedar pencil, it's extraordinarily concentrated, flawlessly balanced, and has a finish that won't quit. This is a legendary wine in the making. Give bottles 7-8 years, a decade would be even better, and it will keep for 40-50 years. Hats off to the Cuvelier family for another extraordinary wine!

Score: 100

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2028 - 2078 19 July 2021

Every bit as good as the 2009, and I think better than the 2010 and 2016, the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré is a total thrill that tops out my scale. Based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by an incredible, full-bodied monster of a wine that, despite massive amounts of fruit, tannins, and extract, still stays weightless and ethereal, with incredible purity. Loaded with notions of crème de cassis, spring flowers, tobacco, violets, charcoal, and cedar pencil, it's extraordinarily concentrated, flawlessly balanced, and has a finish that won't quit. This is a legendary wine in the making. Give bottles 7-8 years, a decade would be even better, and it will keep for 40-50 years. Hats off to the Cuvelier family for another extraordinary wine!

Score: 100

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2028-78 11 March 2021

A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged in 80% new oak barriques, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant scents of Morello cherries, plum preserves and blackberry pie, giving way to nuances of cedar chest, unsmoked cigars, vanilla pod and sassafras, plus a waft of crushed rocks. The palate is full-bodied, rich and decadent, delivering hedonic black fruits and lots of spicy accents with a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and satisfyingly savory. This is a very impressive showing that is delicious out of the gate but has the backbone to give a good 30 years or more of pleasure.

Score: 97

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2024 - 2054 16 July 2021

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Léoville Poyferré begins sporting a veil of cedar, opening out to reveal profound notions of crème de cassis, warm kirsch, Black Forest cake and Indian spices plus hints of chargrilled meats and Sichuan pepper. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the taut, muscular black fruit has a solid frame of firm, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of savory nuances. Aging is anticipated to be for 18 months in barriques, 80% new. The current blend is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

Score: 94 - 96

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 23 April 2019

The 2018 Léoville Poyferré has a glorious bouquet of layers of black cherry, blueberry, violet and potpourri that is opulent yet (paradoxically) effortlessly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. Some of the puppy fat that enveloped this wine from barrel has gone, revealing more backbone and an impressive sense of cohesion and symmetry on the finish. This is an outstanding Léoville Poyferré that has gained another level of complexity since I tasted it from barrel.

Score: 95

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023-48 01 March 2021

The 2018 Léoville Poyferré was picked from 24 September with the Merlot, the Cabernet Sauvignon following six days later and finishing on 12 October. It has a deep purple colour. The bouquet is sensual and voluptuous with black plum, cassis and blueberry, very floral with violet and pressed iris aromas, typically quite outgoing in style. [A second bottle displays more dark chocolate aromas.] The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins and a fine bead of acidity. There is a plushness to this Poyferré that belies good backbone underneath and a saline, truffle tinged finish that lingers in the mouth. It just feels a little blunt at the moment but it should flesh out with time.

Score: 92 - 94

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2023-2048 01 November 2019

One of the darkest in colour, with an inky ruby that stains the glass. Even on the nose you feel the texture of this wine. Clear damson and chocolate shavings, cocoa beans and liquorice. This is young and extremely good-quality - straying into gold territory, and will age for ages. Still extremely young, the tannins are multiplying as it stays in the mouth, popping up from all over the place, with a slow slate finish that I love. I couldn't wait to find out what this was. It is one that should be left for 10 to 15 years but has ageing potential.

Score: 96

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2026-2044 10 November 2020

Deep, silky, and satiny in texture, you can practically stroke this in the glass! The round mouthfeel tells of ripe fruit and generous alcohol but there's not a trace of heat, and the balance is gorgeous. Tannins match you step for step, stopping for breath in all the right places. They keep the luscious black cherry, liquorice and dark chocolate all in place. The 2016 vintage was almost one degree less in alcohol, and certainly this is a little less architectural in its construction, but that extra percent has clearly gone a long way to covering the tannins in silk. 3.7pH. IPT90. Tasted several times.

Score: 97

Jane Anson, Decanter.com Maturity: 2028-2042 15 April 2019

This is so powerful and dense with amazing tannin quality that reminds me of dense clouds, because they are agile and light. Multilayered. Extremely long, too. Punchy! One of the best wines I have ever had from here.

Score: 97 - 98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com 11 April 2019

The 2018 Léoville-Poyferré is a stunning wine that shows a very distinct shift in style under the leadership of Sara Lecompte Cuvelier towards greater energy and vibrancy. The 2018 soars out of the glass with stunning aromatic presence. In its latest incarnation, Léoville-Poyferré is marked by a distinct emphasis on freshness and less extraction than in the past, with sweeter, riper tannins than is the norm. It will be interesting to see if that is an expression of the vintage, or a move toward a gentler approach to winemaking, but I suspect much of it is the latter. Dark red cherry, menthol, pine and wild flowers abound in a stunning, vibrant Saint-Julien that will leave readers weak at the knees. Tasted three times.

Score: 94 - 97

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com 01 April 2019