Château Leoville Barton 2012
• Domaine: Château Léoville Barton
• Appellation: Saint-Julien
• Classification: Second Growth, 2ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château Léoville Barton is steeped in the traditions of the past but make no mistake -- the future for this brilliant estate is an exciting and promising one. With a remarkable history entrenched in a single-family dynasty, Château Léoville Barton boasts the longest familial legacy of a vineyard in all of Bordeaux. Château Léoville Barton has proudly been in the Barton family for centuries, starting in 1725 with Thomas Barton, an Irishman.
Château Léoville Barton was once part of the enormous Léoville Estate, consisting of Château Léoville Barton, Château Léoville Las Cases, and Château Léoville Poyferré. The large property was sectioned off to nobility and fell into Thomas’ hands. Thomas had no choice but to hold onto the estate for the remainder of his life; if he passed away, the holdings would be given to the French Crown due to his Irish heritage. Eventually, the stubborn and unyielding Thomas passed it on to his son, Hugh. Hugh wanted to take over the family business and become a négociant or wine merchant. Hugh had quite the talent for working in the Wine Trade, and Château Léoville Barton thrived under his leadership.
Château Léoville Barton was given the ranking of Second Growth during the 1855 Classification. It is impossible to talk about Château Léoville Barton without mentioning its sister property, Château Langoa Barton. There is no château at Léoville Barton; the wines are all made in the same vat room as the wines at the other estate. Interestingly enough, the structure depicted on a label of Château Léoville Barton is actually the property at Château Langoa Barton. One might ask what the difference is between the two wines if they have the same staff and same vinification room. Though both wines have a ripe, concentrated, spiciness, Château Léoville Barton has garnered quite a bit of attention over the years.
The wines from this esteemed producer are unique to Saint-Julien due to their higher concentrations of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is reflected in the plantings of the vineyards at this 51 Hectare property. The gravely topsoil is planted with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and dwindling percentages of Cabernet Franc. Since they’ve increased their percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine, they continue to plant more of this varietal in the vineyard. Interestingly enough, their oldest vines are Merlot – some of which are 60 years old.
Many wine drinkers are often taken aback by the strength and fortitude these wines possess, and stylistically they resemble the wines of Pauillac more than their softer Saint-Julien counterparts. Under the new ownership of Anthony Barton, the quality of these wines continues to skyrocket. The esteemed wine critic, Robert Parker Jr, considers the wines of Château Léoville Barton to be, “grossly underpriced,” and the quality level to be close to “Super Second Level.” The accolades continue to pour in. Château Léoville Barton’s 2016 vintage enjoyed critical success when the wine was rated as Wine Spectator’s #1 Most Interesting Wine in 2019. Get ready world – it is clear Château Léoville Barton has arrived.
"The 2012 Leoville-Barton is laced with dark red and blue-fleshed stone fruits, spices, sweet spice, mint and licorice. This is a decidedly understated, forward Leoville-Barton that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The classic Leoville-Barton signatures aren't fully developed. Perhaps I caught the 2012 in an awkward stage, but today the wine is quite introspective and gives the impression of not being fully formed." - Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, (January, 2016), Rating: 91+, Drink: 2017-2027
"Dense ruby/purple, with cassis licorice and forest floors notes in the aromatics, Léoville-Barton’s 2012 is a relatively big, rich, masculine style of wine. This full-bodied wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring and should evolve easily for 25-30 years." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (4/29/15, Issue 218), Ratings: 92, Drink: 2023-2053
"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." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (4/24/13, Issue 206), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2017-2037
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|Brand||Chateau Leoville Barton|