Leoville Las Cases

Wine Producers » Leoville Las Cases

Name: Leoville Las Cases

Region: Medoc

Appellation: Saint Julien

Classification: Second Growth

Average annual production: 180, 000 to 200,000 bottles / c. 18,000 cases

Grapes (Typical Blend): Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (19%), Cabernet Franc (13%), Petit Verdot (3%).

Made by: Jean-Hubert Delon

Owned by: Domaine Delon

A little history: Leoville las Cases has quite the grand & notable history – once part of a much bigger estate, it was one of the first Chateau in the Medoc to produce wine alongside Chateau Margaux & Chateau La Tour de Saint-Lambert (latterly Latour). At the time it went by the name of Mont-Moytié, named after its Bordeaux parliamentarian owner, Jean de Moytié.

The vines stayed in the family for the best part of 100 years before moving into the hands of the de Gasq family through marriage. They promptly renamed the estate Leoville. The de Gasq’s were viticultural pioneers; changing varietals for smaller grapes, trellising rows & introducing oak barrel ageing. All of which we take for granted now & certainly sets a precedent for the Chateau’s experimental reputation. By the time de Gasq died Leoville was one of the largest vineyards in France, at 300 hectares.

The revolution came & went with the land, as per all Chateaux, being divided up. The difference with Leoville is it actually went on to become 3 separate Chateaux: Leoville Las Cases, Leoville Poyferre & Leoville Barton, all of which enjoy 2nd classification & most likely some gentle rivalry; Las Cases & Poyferre actually share a building to this day! Leoville Las Cases is the largest of the 3 & has retained the pioneering spirit of old. In the mid-20th century the Chateau came into the hands of the Delon family, with whom it stays today. In 1902 the Chateau was the first to introduce a ‘2nd wine’, Clos de Marquis (although they now would never call it so, more as a separate wine within their portfolio. They continue to harvest by hand & in were the first chateau to controversially make use of a reverse osmosis machine, extracting excess water from the grapes.   The chateau now thrives with a mix of 40 & 80 year old vines, dedicated vineyard management & reputation for the new to uphold.