We start with the Saint Julien, Château Léoville Barton, which has received unanimous praise from the critics, believing it to be one of the best Left Bank wines of the vintage. Antonio Galloni awards 93-96 and believes it to be “one of the few truly exceptional Left Bank wines of the vintage”. Neal Martin awards 93-95 equalling Châteaux Palmer, La Mission Haut Brion, Leoville Las Cases, Ducru Beaucaillou, both Pichon’s and one point of the First Growths, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion and Latour.
Moreover, the Château has reduced their 2017 offering by 17% compared to the 2016 opening price, which makes the offer price of £327.00 IB per case of six highly attractive and certainly one of the must buys this year.
One of the few truly exceptional Left Bank wines of the vintage, the 2017 Léoville-Barton is simply fabulous. The 2017 also has the distinction of having a very high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky crème de cassis, white flowers, lavender, crushed rocks, menthol and spice give the 2017 a distinctly layered, resonant feel. The 2017 offers fabulous density and structure, although the tannins need time. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. The September rains were especially challenging for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. As a result, Cabernet is pushed up in the blend, while there is no Franc at all. Tasted two times.
This has a stronger, tighter and more concentrated expression in this vintage than its sister property, although it's not as concentrated as its last few vintages. It's back to a more old school expression for the appellation, suiting the vintage, and it's one of the better-framed wines on display here. Good quality, with ground coffee, dark chocolate and tight cassis notes, all subtly and harmoniously put together.
This is a really excellent Leoville-Barton with wonderful cabernet sauvignon character of blackberries, blackcurrants and flowers. Full body, firm and lightly chewy tannins and a long and beautiful finish. This has tension and brightness.
The deep, inky-colored 2017 Léoville-Barton is a classic, powerhouse wine from this estate that’s going to need bottle age. Loads of black and blue fruits, violets, classy oak, and ample minerality all soar from the glass. It’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and backward on the palate. With fabulous purity and integrated acidity, forget bottles for 5-6 years and enjoy over the following two decades. The blend in 2017 is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot, harvested from the 15th to the 29th of September, and aging in 60% new French oak.
Deepest crimson. Dark, savoury and spicy black fruit with a lovely balsamic note but also a light vanilla sweetness and a more subdued graphite layer. Complex already. On the palate, this is succulent, firm but polished. Tannins are very fine, definite. A harmonious whole and a juicy finish.
Julia Harding MW
The 2017 Leoville Barton is deep garnet-purple in color with a nose of warm cassis, fresh blackberries and blueberries with hints of violets, dark chocolate and licorice. Medium-bodied with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, it gives a fantastic core of fruit and wonderful length.
The 2017 Léoville Barton has a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon this year at 93%, the remainder is Merlot. It was picked between 15 and 18 September for the Merlot and 22 to 29 September for the Cabernet Sauvignon, then aged in 60% new oak. It has a perfumed and pure bouquet that demonstrates a little more cohesion and refinement than some of its Saint-Julien peers. Blackberry and touches of bilberry fruit, cedar and crushed stone – this is a knockout nose with bags of potential. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, perfectly pitched acidity and beautifully integrated oak. Seriously, this is nudging (not equaling, nudging!) the 2016 in terms of quality and there are just a handful of properties where I can state that this year.