Chateau Leoville Poyferre vertical with Sarah Cuvelier

Le Cafe Descartes at the French Embassy

Tasted January 18, 2019 by dcwino with 335 views

Introduction

Panos organized another exceptional classified growth vertical dinner. This time it was fifteen vintages of Chateau Leoville Poyferre with Sara Cuvelier, the proprietor. The property produces very polished, modern and concentrated style of Saint Julien that still retain good freshness and balance. The clean and concentrated palate reminds me a bit of Leoville las Cases. However, it matures a bit earlier and generally is a bit more modern, i.e. more noticeable new oak. The producer signature was consistently evident in all the wines served.

The dinner was held at Le Café Descartes at the French Embassy. The chef prepared an excellent five course meal. Like the previous occasion, the wine service was very good.

For my palate, all the wines showed consistently well. As expected, the 10 and 15 were youthful but exceptional. The 00 and 05 were surprisingly classic, not too big, approachable and precise. The pleasant surprises were 04, 11 and 14, all showing excellent concentration, balance, texture, purity and freshness.

Flight 1 - Champagne (2 notes)

Everyone generously brought nice Champagnes but I skipped through most of them.

White - Sparkling
2008 L. Aubry Fils Champagne Premier Cru Aubry de Humbert France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
94 points
Expressive energetic nose displaying generous fresh yellow fruit with a hint of white, lemon curd, pear, granny smith, honey, strong floral note and limestone mineral. Very precise and harmonious palate, nicely layered sweet yet fresh citrus fruit, pure and energetic, medium fine medium generous mousse, bright acidity, strong mineral and a long sweet citrus fruit driven finish. The fruit is generous and sweet yet the finish is really dry. I love the energy and purity as well as the incredibly dry finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2002 Dom Pérignon Champagne France, Champagne
97 points
The 02 Dom is on fire for the past year or two. Perfectly mature yet youthful and energetic nose displaying decadent white and yellow fruit, lemon curd, candied lemon peel, fresh filtered apple juice, honey, smoke, brioche and limestone. Excellent concentration, beautifully layered decadent yellow citrus fruit, sweet and decadent without compromising purity and freshness, generous fine mousse, bright acidity, strong mineral presence and a long decadent yet pure and energetic yellow citrus fruit driven finish with brioche and honey at the end. I am really loving how the 02 Dom is drinking. If kept properly, this can easily improve for another two decades, becoming sweeter and gaining tertiary notes.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - 2010, 2012 and 2014 (3 notes)

The 10 was exceptional as expected. The 14 was a pleasant surprise.

Red
2010 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
98 points
Intense hedonistic nose displaying concentrated yet pure black and blue fruit, blackberry concentrate, crème de cassis, blackberry jam, ink, licorice, caramel, lavender, a hint of lead pencil and leather, liquid smoke, dark milk chocolate and cedar/oak. Exceptional concentration, layers upon layers of concentrated black fruit, incredibly silky and fluid, perfect amount of acidity and mineral, no noticeable tannins, i.e. extremely fine tannins that are fully masked by concentrated fruit, and a seamless long concentrated black fruit driven finish with lavender and cedar at the end. Despite being very primary, extremely fine tannins and hedonistic fruit make this very enjoyable. I believe this will not shutdown hard and will improve for a few more decades and last for a century, if cellared properly. The palate/concentration is closest to the 09 and 15. However, the nose is more expressive and slightly fresher than the 09 and more harmonious than the 15. The first LP, and also the best for me. This was one of the top scoring wines for me during the 10 En Primeur. It is trading around $100-$130 at auction which represents an incredible value.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
Medium expressive slightly murky nose displaying ripe blue and red fruit, blueberry jam, a hint of crème de cassis, plum, floral dust, a hint of lead pencil, caramel, cedar and earth. Excellent concentration, packed creme de cassis and plum, good acidity, coarse and slightly rustic tannins and a medium to long ripe red fruit driven finish. During the 12 EP, I thought the top left bank wines showed good concentration but a bit chunky and coarse. Impressive concentration but rustic and murky. The stylistically, it is similar to the 02 but not as green and the 06 but not as coarse. It will improve for a couple more decades, becoming less coarse and more harmonious.
Red
2014 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
Expressive nose displaying pure primary black fruit, crushed blackberry, blackberry liqueur, cremes de cassis, lavender, cedar, floral dust, perfume, light caramel and limestone. Very good concentration, very finely layered pure black fruit, silky and fluid, perfect amount of acidity, strong mineral and a seamless long fresh and pure black fruit driven finish. Although the modern concentrated style of the property is evident, the fruit expression is very pure. The style is very close to the 04 and 11.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - 2002, 2008 and 2011 (3 notes)

The 11 like the 14 showed so well.

Red
2002 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
92 points
Medium expressive nose displaying sweet but simple red fruit, plum, strawberry jam, noticeable green, lead pencil, leather, cedar and earth. Very good concentration, chunky red fruit, a bit dull and murky, good acidity, earthy mineral, coarse tannin and a medium long plum and leather driven finish. The style is similar to the 12. It can improve for another decade or two, perhaps becoming softer and more complex.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
Very precise and slightly lean nose displaying crushed blackberry, strawberry and rhubarb tart, plum, strong floral note, lead pencil, caramel, cedar and limestone. Medium concentration, finely layered subtle red fruit, silky and detailed, bright acidity, strong limestone mineral and a medium to long bright red and black fruit driven finish with cedar and caramel at the end. Perhaps the leanest fruit expression of the evening that clearly displays the vintage character. It can improve for another decade. Very pure and slightly lean like the 08 red Burgundy.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
Expressive nose displaying rich yet pure youthful black fruit, blackberry, black cherry, crème de cassis, ink, lavender, cedar, vanilla, caramel, a hint of lead pencil and mineral. Excellent concentration, layers upon layers of pure black fruit, silky and polished, pure and energetic, perfect amount of acidity and strong mineral, and a long hedonistic yet pure black fruit driven finish with vanilla and ink at the end. I really liked this during the 11 EP. This has developed beautifully. The style is very close to the 14. Around $60 at auction, this represent a great value. Although very enjoyable already, this can easily improve for a couple more decades.

Flight 4 - 1990, 2000 and 2001 (3 notes)

Red
1990 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
97 points
Expressive youthful nose displaying ripe black and red fruit, crème de cassis, cherry, blackberry jam, caramel, dark milk chocolate, a hint of green, mint, cedar, leather, a hint of lead pencil and earth. Perfectly integrated palate, nicely layered ripe black fruit, silky and fluid, warm and round, good acidity, earthy mineral and a long decadent black fruit driven finish. Some thinks very youthful and others think a bit thin. For my palate, showing wonderfully, displaying the ripe 90 vintage characters.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
94 points
Beautiful harmonious nose displaying warm red fruit with a hint of black, plum, cherry, a hint of green, cedar, leather, caramel and earth. Nicely integrated palate, nicely layered red and black fruit, warm and round, medium acidity, earthy mineral and a medium to long warm cherry fruit driven finish with cedar and leather at the end. This has reached the youthful peak. The current auction price of around $170 is not as attractive as other vintages.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
Nicely mature nose displaying soft and warm black fruit, a hint of cremes de cassis, plum, strong cedar, a hint of green and earth. Medium concentration, subtle warm black fruit, silky, medium acidity and mineral, and a medium long subtle black fruit driven finish with green and cedar at the end. This is drinking wonderfully, a classic claret.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - 2004, 2005 and 2006 (3 notes)

I really liked the 04.

Red
2004 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
Expressive nose displaying youthful concentrated black fruit, crushed blackberry, crème de cassis, black cherry, floral dust, rose, cedar, a hint of leather and caramel, and earth. Excellent concentration, layers upon layers of perfectly ripe black fruit, silky and sensual, very pure, perfect amount of acidity and mineral, and a long sweet black fruit driven finish. This is a pleasant surprise, showing excellent concentration, freshness and sensual palate.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
94 points
Expressive nose displaying youthful black fruit, crushed blackberry, blackberry jam, milk chocolate, a hint of lead pencil and earthy mineral. Excellent concentration, finely layered fresh black fruit, silky and polished, good acidity and mineral, noticeable but fine tannins and a long pure black fruit driven finish with lead pencil at the end. There is a hint of bitterness at the end which lowers my rating by a couple points. Showing very good balance and structure. Surprisingly, it is not a super concentrated blockbuster. The style is closest to the 00.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
93 points
Expressive nose displaying ripe concentrated black fruit, blackberry jam, a hint of crème de cassis, fruitcake, plum, ink, cedar, lead pencil and earthy mineral. Excellent concentration, packed concentrated black fruit, slightly coarse and murky, bright acidity, noticeable slightly coarse tannins and a medium to long a bit chunky black fruit driven finish. Showing excellent concentration but a bit disjointed. The style is similar to the 02 and 12. Still needs another ten years reach the peak, to become softer and more complex.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - 2003, 2009 and 2015 (3 notes)

As expected, the 90 was ready and drinking beautifully. The 09 was a bit coiled and the 15 was very primary.

Red
2003 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
Beautifully mature nose displaying very ripe red and blue fruit, blueberry jam, plum, strawberry, espresso bean, a hint of fruitcake, cedar, leather and earth. Nicely integrated palate, nicely layered ripe but subtle slightly dry red fruit, soft, silky and warm, medium acidity and mineral, noticeable but fine tannins and a medium to long ripe red fruit driven finish with cedar and leather at the end. The ripe roasted fruit character has subsided and it would be difficult to guess as the 03, if served blind. It is drinking nicely.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
95 points
Expressive nose displaying intense primary ripe black fruit, blackberry concentrate, strong ink, licorice, liquid smoke, lavender, dark spices and earth. Exceptional concentration, incredibly dense ripe black fruit, unctuous, deeply toned, medium acidity, strong mineral presence, very noticeable but silky tannins and a long dense deeply toned black fruit driven finish with liquid smoke and ink at the end. This is a big scale concentrated wine that is not terribly expressive at the moment. The concentration level is closest to the 10 and 15. Along with the 10 and 15, this is a vin de garde.
Red
2015 Château Léoville Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
97 points
The nose closely resembles a barrel sample. Expressive nose displaying intense primary blue and black fruit, crushed blueberry, blackberry liqueur, crème de cassis, ink, liquid smoke, lavender, perfume, vanilla, sap, toasted oak and earth. Exceptional concentration, intense pure blue and black fruit, noticeable glycerin, dense and unctuous yet silky and fluid, bright acidity, strong tannins and a long intense primary fruit driven finish. Although very primary, the nose shows good purity. A promising future ahead. This can easily improve for a few more decades.
5 people found this helpful Comment

Closing

My heartfelt gratitude once again goes to Panos!

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