Léoville Las Cases Grand Tasting

At Kim Aa's place, Ulvøya, Norway
Tasted Friday, January 11, 2013 by GuWin with 464 views

Introduction

A fabulous tasting of 20 vintages of Léoville Las Cases, brought by generous wine enthusiasts and shared with a group of ten, consumed in five flights of four wines. After the first four flights my notes became a bit blurry - so notes are only written for the vintages from 1945 to 1989. A once in a lifetime-experience!

Flight 1 - The oldies (4 Notes)

1945-1959

  • 1945 Château Léoville Las Cases 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Fabulous. Wonderful color, deep warm red with brick red rim. Warm aromas of barnyard and leather. Compact and solid, smooth as velvet, with powerful tannin structure. In amazing shape

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  • 1955 Château Léoville Las Cases 79 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Clear, light brick red with watery rim. Over the edge; smells of rubber and boillon. Metallic, dry, lacks fruit, short. Drinkable, but really tired compared to the other "oldies" in this flight

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  • 1961 Château Léoville Las Cases 96 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Clear garnet color with brick red rim. Warm aromas of cedar and wood, mocca, caramel, licorice and spices. Smooth as silk; a bit timid at first, but opens up to a delicate, perfumed, clean and pure elixir. A great wine with long, smooth finish

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  • 1959 Château Léoville Las Cases 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Beautiful light garnet with brick red rim. Slightly metallic on the nose upon opening - blows off and gives way to mocca, caramel, blackcurrants and a hint of bonfire. Great wine. Full bodied and smooth, slightly "rusty" on the palate, with a long and delicate aftertaste

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Flight 2 - The mature ones (4 Notes)

1966-1976

  • 1966 Château Léoville Las Cases 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Yet another great wine. Quite intense, warm aromas of tobacco, bonfire, tea leaves and - strangely enough - asparagus. Evolves after some time into blackcurrants. Full bodied, more sweet-ish than the older ones (45, 55, 59, 61). Spicy mouth feeling, very fruity, fantastic balance and an impressive tannin structure given that this wine is almost 50 years old.

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  • 1971 Château Léoville Las Cases 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Clear, ruby/garnet color. Tobacco on the nose, bonfire, and after some time caramel. Great nose. On the palate the wine seems very fresh, high acid which blurs the fruit and makes it somewhat unbalanced. Good, but not great

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  • 1975 Château Léoville Las Cases Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Corked. As the only one in the flight of 20 LLC...

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  • 1976 Château Léoville Las Cases 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Ruby with brick red rim. Initially blackcurrant and licorice on the nose, evolving into leather and sweetly spices and with a slightly dry, dusty sensation. Clean and elegant, sour or even sweet-sour. Great to drink now, will probably not improve.

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Flight 3 - The young and (mostly) promising (4 Notes)

1978-1983

  • 1978 Château Léoville Las Cases 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Ruby with brick red rim. Warm and fragrant. Almost Graves-like, pleasing sensation of bonfire and smoke. Soft and smooth on the palate, blackcurrants and dark plums. Pleasant and enjoyable. Perfectly mature.

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  • 1979 Château Léoville Las Cases 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Clear, ruby color. Very pure aromas of red berries, and particularly cherries - almost nature wine-like. Tight with high acidity. Medium body and flavour intensity. Fruit and acidity slightly out of sync.

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  • 1981 Château Léoville Las Cases 87 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Ruby with watery rim. Powerful on the nose, with meaty cherries, bonfire and smoke. Tight and powerful also on the palate, quite masculine and big without the elegance of many of the other LLC's.

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  • 1983 Château Léoville Las Cases Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Probably heat damaged; warm/cooked fruits on the nose as well as an unpleasant smell of warm rubber. Unharmonious

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Flight 4 - The up and coming (4 Notes)

1982-1989

  • 1982 Château Léoville Las Cases 98 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Amazing. Archetypical bordeaux; intense aromas of cedar, cigar box, pencil shavings, spices and blackcurrants. Pure and elegant, spicy, black fruitiness on the palate. Full bodied, velvety, with perfectly balanced acidity and tannins. Lasts a small eternity. Among 20 vintages, this was my LLC of the evening

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  • 1985 Château Léoville Las Cases 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Dark ruby, light brick red rim. Blackcurrants and blackberries on the nose, leather, cigar box. Wonderful structure, really complex. Not as tight as the '82 and '86, but smooth and velvety, drinking great now

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  • 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Vivid, fresh ruby color, almost no hints of age. Multi-layered and complex aromas of cedar, red and dark berries, bee-wax. Compact, tight, evolving in the mouth, full bodied, pronounced flavour intensity and high tannin level. So good it's hard to swallow. Will evolve further for ages, and far from the top

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  • 1989 Château Léoville Las Cases 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Deep ruby, thin watery rim. Youthful nose; blackcurrants, licorice, and initially slightly medicinal aromas, like gauze. Pronounced, fruity on the palate, great structure, high tannin level. Great wine. Will evolve further

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