Served blind at the Southwold 2009 tasting. Two bottles tasted in different flights. The Chateau Leoville Las-Cases 2009 appears to have closed down a little in recent months. Here, it has a very controlled bouquet with delineated blackberry, wild hedgerow and briary and crushed stone. Later, more Pauillac-like scented emerge - mint and graphite. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. It does not quite have the clarity suggested by the aromatics, although there is certainly very good fruit concentration on the dense, almost surly finish. Tasted January 2013.
The 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.