We have been waiting for it for a long time: the work, which promises to be gigantic, will begin and in two or three years time the flagship property of Saint-Julien will no longer be jealous of the wineries and cellars of its main neighbours and competitors. It is true that this strange château does not in fact have a castle and that it took the determination of Jean-Hubert Delon to restore, in a very elegant way, the part of the chartreuse which, in joint ownership with Léoville-Poy ferré, belongs to him. Up until now, and since the revolution accomplished in 1977 by Michel, Jean-Hubert’s father, they had been working acrobatically, with a winery one side of the route des châteaux and a cellar on the other. With pipes running under the road, as in Poyferré. This did not prevent the elaboration with metronomic regularity of great wines of a level equal (all observers agree on this) to the first classified growths. Michel Delon had isolated within the cru’s vast vineyard (nearly 100 hectares), the smaller half, giving both the most complete wine and the most incompatible with the other half. The large enclosure that greets every morning its Saint-Lambert counterpart, Latour, defines more than ever what makes the wine incomparable, with the help of vines more than fifty years old. What Jean-Hubert Delon has brought, with the help of a young director as affable as he is competent, Pierre Graffeuille, is a relaxation of the rigor in the welcoming of visitors, a rationalization of the range of the four wines produced, two first wines, the Clos du Marquis and the Grand Vin, two wines from young vines, just as brilliant, the Petite Marquise, and the Petit Lion. The taste of an owner-manager is also an irreplaceable factor; Michel Delon in his desire to compete with the former was looking for power, Jean-Hubert prefers harmony, finesse and a more Saint-Julien character than Pauillac. Global warming, here admirably anticipated and balanced, has enabled him to reach his ideal, and in a vintage like 2018 to produce perhaps the most accomplished wine of the last fifty years.
Château Léoville Las Cases. 2019.
En Primeur samples. Difficult to resist the absolute nobility of the nose. In the opinion of our whole team, it is the most complex and refined of the Saint Juliens or even of Médoc. Incredible density of the texture without any heaviness, wood completely dominated by the texture. It has a great future. 99/100.