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May 14, 2013

Leoville Barton 2012 En Primeur

Leoville-Barton-label

Chateau Leoville was at the time of the French Revolution the largest estate in the Medoc, however, it was confiscated when the Marquis de la Cases fled the Revolution. Today it occupies a quarter of the original estate. In 1826 Hugh Barton, of successful negociant business of Barton & Guestier bought a share with the purpose of returning it to its original owner. The Marquis de Las Cases, unfortunately, was unable to reimburse M. Barton for the land and so he remained the owner. Interestingly five years before, Hugh Barton had also acquired the neighbouring property of Langoa and as there is no chai on the Leoville land he was forced to vinify both the wines of Leoville and Langoa at the chai on the Langoa estate. This practice continues to this day.

Leoville Barton has been owned by one family for almost two centuries. Since 1986 the estate has embraced new wine making techniques and the efforts have been reflected in the wines to date. Leoville Barton is situated in the centre of St Julien and has gravely soil with a subsoil of clay. The wine is Cabernet Sauvignon dominated and has flavours of dark fruit and a nose of cedar which is typical of a wine from St Julien. Especially in recent years, Leoville Barton has a reputation of producing wonderful wines at reasonable prices and coupled with the wit and charm of Anthony Barton this is a favourite of consumers, investors and journalists alike.

Parker Points vs Price
2012 90-92pts – £490
2011 90-92pts – £480
2008 92pts – £440
2006 91pts – £450
2002 92pts – £550
2001 92pts – £575

This well-made, complete St.-Julien possesses a dense purple color as well as surprisingly soft tannins for this wine which tends to be jacked up with a lot of structure, masculinity and muscle in most vintages. The 2012 offers attractive cedary, black currant fruit and vanilla notes, and a medium-bodied, denser mid-palate than many of its peers’. The tannins are noticeable in the finish, so give this wine 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades as it will be one of the longer lived wines of the vintage. 90-92 Parker Points