Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien 2016
|France, Bordeaux, St. Julien
|Chateau Leoville Barton
This is so vivid as it brims with pastis-soaked plum, blackberry, black currant and blueberry paste flavors, all carried by a perfectly integrated brambly spine. Tar and ganache notes give the finish an extra kick while everything stays within the mouthwatering roasted apple wood frame. Both regal and rambunctious, this is St.-Julien to a T. Best from 2025 through 2040. 11,667 cases made.
The Barton family's flagship wine benefits hugely from the age of the vines. This wine is ripe and concentrated, rich in tannins but with the wonderful black fruits that can be conjured from this vineyard. It will age well and is likely to be ready to drink from 2026.
Deep purple-colored and a classic Saint-Julien with its pure crème de cassis, graphite, liquid rock, and essence of lead pencil shavings, the 2016 Château Léoville Barton is full-bodied, concentrated, and backward, with bright acidity and ripe yet certainly present and building tannins. This old-school, classic Léoville Barton has a fine thread of acidity keeping the wine focused and fresh. It's a beauty, but mostly potential at this point, although it does have beautiful fruit. Savvy readers will hide bottles at the back of their cellar, and I wouldn't start to think about opening bottles for a least a decade. It's going to be incredibly long-lived. The blend of the 2016 is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, brought up in 60% new French oak.
The 2016 Léoville-Barton has a more savory bouquet than its peers: again, slightly tertiary in style, though very well delineated and manifesting lovely incense and pressed violet aromas with aeration. The oak is neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, fleshy and ripe, and gently grippy, leading to a detailed and quite plush (for the vintage) finish. This is a charming Saint-Julien, a bit of a femme fatale. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Leoville Barton delivers a superstar nose of crème de cassis, plum preserves and blueberry compote with suggestions of fragrant earth, unsmoked cigars, licorice and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, rich and seductive with firm yet velvety tannins, it has a decadently rich finish.