Monday, March 23, 2015

Chateau Leoville-Barton

The argument about the respective merits of the 'structured' old world Cabernets versus the new world fruit dominated Cabernets or Shirazes has been going on for over 30 years. Interestingly, the most celebrated Bordeaux vintages, like 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, are the warm ones, which produce wines approaching the new world flavour profiles.

Let us test this by opening the 2003 Chateau Leoville-Barton. This is a well known mid priced wine. It is a second growth from St. Julien on the left bank, which means the blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Merlot blended in.

The colour of the wine is quite dark, but shows garnet on the rim, which means some development has occurred. Blackcurrant fruit shows on the palate, as well as cedar and tobacco leaf. The wine is well balanced in the mouth. Earthy and barnyard characters are very strong. No, this wine could not be mistaken for a new world wine. I do not find the profile appealing on its own, but it is much better with red meat, which balances the firm and dry tannins on the finish.

The wine needs at least 1-2 hours airing, decanting opens up the flavours. This wine will continue to develop for five years and drink well for another five to 10 years.

Score: 91/-

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