Château Leoville Poyferre 2019
• Domaine: Château Léoville Poyferré
• Appellation: Saint-Julien
• Classification: Second Growth, 2ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
At Château Léoville Poyferré the motto is, “The essential is invisible to the eye.” This esteemed Saint-Julien producer does not believe in the extreme pomp and circumstance of an over-the-top château. Instead, they believe that true opulence stems from their winemaking team, terroir, and their classically luxurious wines.
This Second Growth Estate has arguably some of the best terroir and is capable of producing some of the most striking wines in Saint-Julien. Prior to its inception in 1840, Château Léoville Poyferré was a small portion of the vastly enormous Léoville Estate. Château Léoville was a leader in terms of viticultural innovation. They allowed for grapes to produce smaller berries which would inevitably yield a richer, more concentrated wine. They trellised their grapes with pinewood – something that was considered revolutionary at the time. They also were among the first to age their wine in oak barrels and clean them with a sulfur solution. These may not seem like major breakthrough ideas in our current era, but in the 1800s they were considered revolutionary.
Eventually after the French Revolution, the massive Léoville Estate was parceled off into Château Léoville Las Cases, Château Léoville Barton and Château Léoville Poyferré. Funnily enough, all three estates still share the same parking lot, and the buildings remain connected – just as they were centuries ago. Château Léoville Poyferré was acquired by Jeanne-Marie Poyferré de Ceres. After a period of turbulence, the estate was purchased by the Cuvelier family in the 1920s and that’s when Château Léoville Poyferré rose to prominence. The Cuvelier family had a strong history as négociants, and purchased other successful estates including Château Le Crock in 1903. In 1979 Didier Cuvelier became the cellar master and took the estate to new heights by implementing a 19-year program to replant the vineyards. Didier doubled the vineyard from 48 hectares to what it is today, 80 hectares. The estate is currently managed by his highly gifted niece, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier.
One might think that with such a “no frills” ethos, the team at Léoville Poyferré may not prioritize having some of the most innovative technology. This is not the case, and though they are about simplicity, Château Léoville Poyferré vehemently embraces new winemaking technology. In 2010 Léoville Poyferré renovated their vat rooms with a state-of-the-art underground pipe system to delicately transfer the wine from the tanks to the barrels. Prior to this ingenious system, the wine was moved by hand and tractors.
Like any great visionary estate, the team at Château Léoville Poyferré also takes immense pride in sustainability and producing their wines with great responsibility. Château Léoville Poyferré proudly carries a High Environmental Value (HEV) score of 3. They are also members of the Environmental Management System of the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine. The wines they produce are beautiful and elegant, favoring Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller additions of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Because of their increasing quality with each passing vintage, Château Léoville Poyferré is a producer that should be on everyone’s radar.
"Casting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2019 Léoville Poyferré charges out of the gate with alluring notes of chocolate-covered cherries, blueberry pie, dried mulberries and blackcurrant cordial plus suggestions of camphor, espresso, spice cake and oolong tea. The medium to full-bodied palate reveals bags of freshness and a suitably approachable texture, supporting the decadent blackberry preserves and exotic spice layers, finishing on a stewed tea note. An already incredibly impressive wine, I imagine by the end of barrel aging the tannins will be fully brought into line here and the fruit will emerge singing of even more nuances." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (7/9/2020) Rating: (93-95)+, Drink from: 2026-2055
"The 2019 Léoville-Poyferré has a typically seductive bouquet with layers of ripe black fruit laced with tobacco, sous-bois, touches of marmalade and dried orange peel. Give it another hour and more blue fruit begins to emerge. The palate is medium-bodied with lavish, luxuriant black fruit and a creamy texture that is instantly seductive. It is a more opulent Saint-Julien than the Barton with a satin-like texture on the finish. If you love the style of Léoville-Poyferré then you will adore this." - Neal Martin, vinous (June 2020), Ratings: (96-98), Drink: 2026-2065
"The 2019 Château Léoville Poyferré is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend that includes 27% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It's a classic wine from this address, with a dense purple color as well as a blockbuster nose of blackberries, cassis, chocolate, toasted spices, graphite, and tobacco. This flamboyant, full-bodied, opulent wine has a massive, sexy texture, sweet tannins, and a finish that won't quit. It's better than the 2000, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2016 and reminds me of the 2009 with its oversized yet balanced, beautiful profile. The alcohol checks in at just over 14%, but it isn't noticeable in the least. Buy this rock star by the case!" -Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, Rating: 97-100
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