Utterly Elegant, Aged Bordeaux

Today’s Story: Château Léoville Las Cases

Château Léoville Las Cases is a historical Bordeaux estate rated as a Second Growth (Deuxième Cru) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Though the estate used to be much larger and is one of the oldest in the Médoc, it was split up between 1826 and 1840 as a result of the French Revolution and came into the Las Cases family as 3/5 the size of the original estate. Luckily for the family, however, their land made up the heart of the domain and therefore consists of the original terroir back to the 17th century.

Las Cases was managed by the same family through the 19th century, moving by inheritance through Pierre Jean, Adolphe, and Gabriel de Las Cases until Théophile Skawinski bought a stake in 1900 to become the manager. Today, Jean-Hubert Delon is the sole owner with the family coming in during the mid-20th century. I encourage you to take a look at the cool video on their website here, which shows the estate’s geographic location as well as a breakdown of the terroir at the domain.

Today’s Wine: 1990 Château Léoville Las Cases

43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot; 13.5% ABV

The 1990 LLC is opaque deep garnet/ruby in color, showing no sign of its age besides some sediment in the bottle. Though this sang right out of the bottle, the nose truly showcased its beauty after 30+ minutes in the glass with aromas of redcurrant, cassis, pencil shavings, graphite, cured meat, sous bois, tobacco, black pepper, and dried underbrush. Once in the mouth, this elegant wine shows notes of dusty blackberry, plum, redcurrant, charred earth, cigar box, leather, green herbs, and spice. This is medium-bodied with moderate acidity, fully integrated light tannins, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $400. A special occasion bottle opened to celebrate my recent birthday. Pair this with steak, roasted lamb, veal, or pheasant. Mushroom sauce or truffle with the steak would be a well-rewarded plus.

For another interesting review…

I reviewed the 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases alongside a 1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande back on October 28, 2019 in Bordeaux Battle. For some insight into another aged LLC, check it out! At the very least, you may be introduced to Pichon Lalande as well.

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