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Chateau Léoville Poyferré 1998-2010

The following are probably tasting notes from a vertical Poyferre tasting. These notes, I believe, are from BBR. Some small and minor editing has been done by us.The same vintages from Chateau Léoville Poyferré will be re-visited tomorrow evening when the tasting notes re-written again.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré owned by the Cuvelier family since 1921, yet it was not until the 1970s, when Didier Cuvelier took control at the château, that quality began to improve. In the last 20 years, Didier, with the assistance of Michel Rolland since 1995, has turned Léoville-Poyferré into one of St-Julien's most beautiful estates.

Léoville Poyferré has 80 hectares of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Petit Verdot (8%) and Cabernet Franc (2%). This vineyard traditionally produced the softest and most supple wine of the 3 Léovilles, yet in the last decade, the wines have put on weight and body not only because of riper and later harvest and also for the increased exposure to new oak in the maturation process. It’s important to note that recently, modernisation and renovations have taken place in the vineyard.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 1998 Excellent breeding. However, the drier wine is not super charming. Adequate structure, muted and understated nose with tertiary flavours appearing after a good bit of glass swilling. Delicate, earthiness, a touch of fruit, leather, and a bit of spice, all build to a slightly dry astringent medium finish. I certainly prefer the more ripe vintages on this showing, as the wine feels a bit out of place. You may get more complexity with further bottle ageing.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 1999 1999 is an elegant, approachable vintage and all wines are fully mature now, giving a delicate bouquet of soft, berry fruits and tobacco leaf, the lush texture on the palate, ripe and round. Ch. Léoville-Poyferré is one of the best wines of the vintage, hence our decision to buy more stock long after the initial release. Way above the norm for 1999.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2001 Now fully mature, and the nose has completely lost its youthful feel. The palate is all about berry fruits mingled with tobacco, and similarly has a mellow feel that belies its age and easily could be mistaken for something 20 years older. The wine has good depth and cognitive complexity, but the finish is on the shorter side. A delightful wine but given its rapid evolvement, I would not be looking to be keeping this for the long term.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2002 Medium red colour. In the nose, it's a very typical left bank Bordeaux with notes of blackberry and cassis, some leather, pencil shavings, very sincere and quite elegant. In the mouth, it"s maybe slightly rough around the edges, but in total the balance is right, the intensity and depth of better vintages are lacking, but this is a good Léoville Poyferré.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2003 The spectacular 2003 Leoville Poyferre exhibits a dense purple colour with a touch of lightening at the edge as well as notes of creosote, barbecue smoke, jammy black currants, liquorice and spice box. This intense, voluptuously textured, full-bodied St. Julien possesses low acidity and ripe tannin. Still fresh and exuberant, it is just entering its drinking window. It is a colossal success and a potential legend in the making. It is saturated, dense inky/blue/purple colour offers up notes of crushed rocks, acacia flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, and creme de cassis. A synthesis of power and elegance, this multi-layered wine has spectacular concentration, sweet but high tannin, and low acidity A stunning effort that showcase...

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2005 Léoville Poyferré’s dense ruby/purple 2005 is soft, round and juicy, with lots of blackcurrant fruit, plum and Asian spice. It is medium to full-body, surprisingly supple and accessible. Although I still prefer 2003, 2005 is a gorgeously opulent, approachable wine that is far less massive and austere than its two siblings. The most seductive, friendly, and charming of the three Leovilles, it exhibits a dense purple colour as well as a sweet bouquet of mocha, black chocolate, creme de cassis, liquorice, and toasty oak. Full-bodied with gorgeous upfront fruit in addition to impressive levels of melted, well-integrated tannin.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2006 A classic Saint-Julien, with all components in place, a lovely balance and powerful tannins to ensure a long life. Very dense nose of cherries, wood, cedar, cocoa, couldn't be more classic Bordeaux. The young palate, very present and herbal notes. After some time developing elegant wood, cigar box, coffee and vanilla aromas.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2009 2009 Leoville Poyferre stands heads and shoulders above the previous vintages. The elegant textures and round, silky tannins along with the ability to age, this is a Bordeaux one should keep. It is astonishing. Intensely perfumed, with a delicious, juicy density on the palate, it has layer upon layer of gorgeous fruit (blackberries freshly picked from the hedge) with a beautiful, gravel minerality and earthy complexity. Supple, ripe tannins melt on the palate, and the length is incredible. An excellent wine amongst the best from 2009.

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2010 Still purple in the glass. You need a tea bag to drink this wine because of the ton of sediment it has. Deep inky colour, expressive nose, blackcurrants, blackberry, rhubarb, jalapeño, salty rock, tea leaves, cigar box, rose petals, silky texture and perfect balance. Great length as well that keeps lingering for nearly a minute. A loaded gun in the mouth - beautifully dense, tight and exploding with complexity. Not ready.

Special mentioning goes to the older vintages we tasted earlier. For example, 1983 wine is ripe, 1995 ushers in the Roland style and the 1996 gives spectacular elegance.

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