This small retrospective took place at my office in Colorado and looked at the 2003, 2001, 1995, and 1975 vintages from unquestionably one of the great Château of Bordeaux, Château Léoville Las Cases.
Coming directly from the Château, all of the wines are fully mature at this stage and drinking nicely. The 2003 emerges from one of the hottest vintages on record, yet nevertheless has notable freshness and purity while showing the most opulence and power in the lineup. It’s terrific today yet has a long life ahead of it. In contrast, the 2001 possesses a beautiful elegance and purity, with the regal, complex, and balanced style of the Château front and center. 2001 was a slightly more challenging vintage in the Médoc (it’s superb and underrated on the Right Bank, particularly in Pomerol) but the wines have been drinking incredibly well for a number of years now and shine for their classic style as well as their complexity. The 1995 comes from a hot, slightly erratic vintage and it’s a rich, full-bodied, and mouthfilling, if not chewy, style of wine. It lacks the precision and purity of releases today yet it has tons of character. Lastly, the 1975 showed beautifully and is a firm, almost austere wine, with still present tannins, yet a beautiful core of sweet fruit and a great finish. At the end of the day, the tannins might outlive the fruit, but that’s another decade or two down the line.
There is no doubt today that Château Léoville Las Cases produces some of the greatest, most age-worthy wines on the palate and they’re consistently at the top of the pyramid in Bordeaux. If you have these wines in the cellar, count yourself lucky as you have decades of drinking enjoyment ahead of you.