2009 Ch. Leoville Las Cases, St Julien - £2050 per 12 bottles in bond.
98+ Points (Robert Parker)
The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.
2009 Ch. Montrose, St Estephe - £2100 per 12 bottles in bond.
100 Points (Robert Parker)
Harvested between September 17 and October 5, this wine seems always open for business, so to speak, much like the great 1982s. The summer of 2009 was very hot and dry, which got the harvest off to a reasonably early start. The blend was 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Jean Bernard Delmas’ goal was to find perfect equilibrium between freshness and concentration, given its incredible opulence and the voluptuous character this vintage offered. That’s what this wine has in abundance. With an astounding dense purple color, the wine has velvety, sweet tannins, and an extremely open-knit and opulent blueberry, blackberry and creme de cassis nose. There is scorched earth, vanilla and, again, telltale licorice and spice. It is unctuously textured – thicker and juicier than the 2010 and more forward. This wine should come into its own in another five years. And again, it has at least 50+ years of aging potential.
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