Tag Archives: Chateau Leoville-Barton

A river runs through it (Bordeaux, France – Day Three)

There are many places in the world where a river is a divider both from a geographical perspective but also in an intangible way. Some of the most famous cities in the world are split by equally famous rivers, like the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris. Not that it is any comparison to these cities but Melbourne is also divided by the Yarra River, and a common question asked is ‘which side of the river are you, north or south?’ There are often philosophical, political and financial divisions around this that have a lot to do with history. Wine region sometimes have this and none more so than Bordeaux, which is separated by the Garonne River. On the right bank you find Saint-Emilion and Pomerol where merlot is the major variety. On the left bank you have the Medoc with Margaux and Pauillac, and cabernet sauvignon is king. Winemaking is pretty similar which means the selection of variety and the terroir. On the right bank there is more clay in the soils which is better for merlot, and on the left bank it is a little warmer and therefore better for the later ripening cabernet sauvignon. The left bank wines tend to take longer to age in the bottle which is why I tend to prefer right bank wines younger. But there is plenty of spoils for all and as always every vintage is different. For my third day I visited one estate on each side of the river, and then met with one of the more important Bordeaux negociants to discuss how the wines are sold in their own unique way.
One of the coolest spitoons I have encountered

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Chateau Leoville-Barton – 25/07/2012

2011 Chateau Langoa-Barton
A little sharp on the nose, not very expressive fruit or floral elements, very dusty cabernet sauvignon dominant aromas, quite reductive and shut down. Shy and reserved fruit, good structure, not full or heavy, a little shy and not full, clean texture, good freshness, nice and lean but not sure how it will react to another nine months in barrel.

2011 Chateau Leoville-Barton
A much darker inkier colour. A lot more ripe cabernet influence, certainly more ripeness of dark fruits and expression, denser and still with that stalky dustiness. Showing slightly more new oak characters. Great structure and texture, wonderfully fresh and bright, tight and lean tannins and excellent core of acidity through the palate. Excellent potential given time to be a structured food friendly wine that is both approachable but with good character. Excellent fruits.

Leoville-Barton 2010 Jeraboam

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