Chateau Langoa-Barton 2011, St Julien Third Growth
Feep rubied with a tight rim showing lots of the potential, this 2011 gives Pauillac, black and red currant fruited nose, perfumed. The firm palate flows fruit-coated tannins. Surely the taste reflects the nose and balance nicely with the darker-fruited mid-palate flavours. Stylistically this may be preferred for some for the freshness and lighter approach, but in recent years it has possessed a bit more punch and longevity. It is a famous claret in Hong Kong and has a reputation for being well priced. This used to be the tasting teams' house wine for Bordeaux Claret. 2011 is vey under-rated. In our view, 2011 is better for its 2012.
Today, Léoville Barton is a superlatively good traditional Saint-Julien, combining power and finesse with the ability to age and improve over many years. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, it ages for 20 months in oak barrels (50% new) and will age for 12 to 40 years, in many cases longer. Foursquare and very stable in quality, this 2011 Can age over 20 years even for being a lighter and elegant vintage.
Scores are consistent in the level of 92 to 93, for example:
Rating: 93 Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012 A fresh, bright wine with citrus, raspberry and currants. Medium to full body with firm tannins and a crisp finish. Juicy fruit. Better in 2016.
Rating: 92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2014 This is dense with a lovely blueberry and mineral character. Full body, with silky tannins and a long finish. It is dense and very pretty. Well done.
Rating 93 Wine Enthusiast This is a delightful wine with an attractive character that belies that firm structure behind it. It has weight and concentration and firm tannins, while showing the fruity side of the vintage. A wine for pleasure as it ages. Drink from 2016.