Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Producer profile

Listed Wines

Leoville Las Cases

Owner

Delon family

President

Jean-Hubert Delon

Annual Production (Grand Vin)

18,000 cases

Classification

Deuxième Crus (Second-Growths)

Appellation

St-Julien

Second Wine

Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases

Interesting Fact

Léoville Las-Cases became first winemaking estate to introduce a second wine - Clos de Marquis - in 1904. In the modern sense, this is no longer considered a true “second wine” since it is produced from vines that lie in a different terroir to the Grand Vin.

Chateau Leoville Las Cases   Leoville Las Cases

Brand

Chateau Léoville Las-Cases is popularly accepted as the ‘first among the Super-Seconds’, regularly challenging the Premier Crus in quality. As a result, Las-Cases is the choice of those investors seeking First-Growth quality but for whom the prices associated are unpalatable- though in a reflection of its superior reputation, the wines from this chateau regularly outstrip its Second-Growth siblings in price. Were the 1855 Classification ever to be revisited, Las-Cases would surely be a candidate for promotion.

This view is supported by empirical evidence such as the analysis of Liv-ex which assessed Grand Cru wines on average prices to elucidate rankings adjusted for modern times, with Delon’s estate promoted to the top flight. Similarly, a 2008 Cornell University study examining the 1855 Classification similarly recommended the promotion of Leoville Las-Cases, on account of its average critic score over the previous 35 years, and with Chateau Mouton Rothschild dropping back to a Deuxieme Cru to make way for it!

Given the disparity of pricing (Mouton trades at over douvle the price on average) it is little wonder that Las-Cases continues to perform for the investor. The very strong performance of the estate over recent years (though it has been remarkably consistent in its quality over the 20th century) is greatly thanks to the hard work and persistence of its infamous viognier, Jean-Hubert Delon and his father Michel before him.

Critic Appraisal

The crème de la crème of Saint-Julien, the wines of Léoville Las-Cases are some of the most impressive in all of Bordeaux with a style that has been compared to certain chateaux of Pauillac, including even the wines of Chateau Latour.  The Grand Vin has won a staggeringly impressive average of 96.5 Wine Advocate points over the five vintages leading up to 2018.

Multiple blockbuster vintages over the last couple of decades have drawn high praise from most industry leading wine publications.

"The palate is awe-inspiring. The tannins are so filigree, in fact not dissimilar to their neighbor across the border at Château Latour. That seam of graphite lends this Léoville Las-Cases a Pauillac-like personality, but ignoring stylistic similarities, it is the intensity, depth and arching structure that astounds, with detail on the finish that rivets your feet to the spot. Then the finish is ultra-precise, one of the most mineral-driven that I have encountered in almost 20 years visiting the estate, plus it is endowed with one the longest aftertastes you will find in 2016. Yeah, it's good."

Neal Martin 98-100

History

The early history of Château Léoville Las-Cases is intertwined with the Léoville estate- which was split after to the death of its owner Alexandre de Gascq and with the impending French Revolution. His son, Pierre Jean de Lascases inherited part of the Léoville estate in 1840 and gave it his name.

It remained with the Lascases family until they became embroiled in financial difficulties, forcing them to sell shares to a number of prominent Bordeaux residents, including an astute German businessman by the name of Théophile Skawinksi. Skawinksi took a special interest in the property and became general manager. He passed his shares onto his heirs, the Delons, who gradually began to buy out the other shareholders and won majority control.

Today the Delon family also own two other properties, Potensac and Nenin, and Léoville Las-Cases is managed by Jean-Hubert Delon, who succeeded his father in 2000 and became the fifth generation member of the family to run the estate.

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