This morning we are thrilled to release the great Second Growth Leoville Barton, an Estate recognised the world over for its iconic label, revered as a legendary wine that represents the epitome of claret. In 2018 the Estate have created a masterpiece awarded 95-97+ points from Jeb Dunnuck, 97-99 points from the Wine Spectator, 95-96 points from James Suckling and 94-96 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown. Critically, this makes it every bit as good as the great modern vintages; 2010, 2015 and 2016 which trade at £1,050, £750 and £750 respectively. Priced today at £758 per case of 12, or £379 per case of six, Leoville Barton represents some of the best value for money of any release. Indeed, considering it is one of the highest ranked and regarded wines, we are pleased they continue to offer such value for money on release. In recent years they have managed to create a beautiful synthesis between the classical, brilliantly age-worthy style of yesteryear and a more succulent, velvety and seductive panache. The wine embodies the best of the old and new and 2018 continues this brilliant upward trend.
Leoville Barton represents the archetype of great Bordeaux, each vintage is built to last, the standard for truly great, age-worthy Bordeaux. However, the price of Leoville Barton has always remained very appealing and Bordeaux lovers will appreciate today’s release price and stock up on this magnificent and venerable Chateau for the decades ahead. To put its price into perspective, Leoville Barton 2018 costs just over half the price of Sassicaia and Ornellaia on release, and less than half the price of its neighbour Levoville las Cases. We believe strongly in the value for money in Leoville Barton 2018.
Chateau Leoville was at the time of the French Revolution the largest Estate in the Medoc, however, it was confiscated when the Marquis de Las Cases fled the Revolution. Today it occupies a quarter of the original Estate. In 1826 Hugh Barton, of successful negociant business Barton & Guestier, bought a share in the Estate with the purpose of returning it to its original owner. The Marquis de Las Cases, unfortunately, was unable to reimburse 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 was 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 dominant 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 and critics alike.
Grand Puy Lacoste has released for £672 per case of 12, or £336 per case of six. In 2018 they continue their upward trend, producing a brilliant wine, which has been awarded 92-94+ from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate, commenting ‘the palate is rich, plush and generous, finishing long and perfumed.’ It has received 94-95 points from James Suckling, 95-98 from The Wine Spectator, 93-96 points from Antonio Galloni who describes it as ‘a wine of precision, energy and nuance, the 2018 Grand-Puy-Lacoste is fabulous’.
The Estate’s ascent in recent years has been exceptional, re-establishing itself as a leading Pauillac. Grand Puy Lacoste, like Pontet Canet, is classified as a Fifth Growth. It is located behind Lynch Bages and on the same longitude as Mouton and Pontet Canet. Its terroir shares the same properties that makes these great Pauillac estates capable of producing beautifully structured, powerful and complex wines. It comes as no surprise that in 2018 it has made a stellar wine that competes with the leading Second and First Growths for quality. The 2018 is likely to score alongside the 2016 from bottle, making it their joint finest in the modern game. The estate are repositioning themselves in line with its obvious quality, so while the 2018’s release price provides a good discount to the 92 point scoring 2005, which trades at £860, it does not offer the stand out value on release it once did.
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The vineyard, once shared with Grand Puy Ducasse, is roughly 36 hectares (90 acres) found on deep gravel top soil with a limestone base. Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and the wines see 50% new oak ageing for 18 months. The name Puy means small height or hillock and the estate stayed in the same family from the 16th Century to 1920 before connecting with the Borie family; currently under the management of Francois-Xavier Borie. Interestingly Grand Puy Lacoste is known as the Crocodile Wine in China due to it sharing the same name as the well-known French sports brand Lacoste.
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