Château Léoville-Las Cases

Grand Vin de Leoville du Marquis de las Cases Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend

9.4137 ratings
9.331 pro ratings
St. Julien, Médoc, Bordeaux, France
Red Bordeaux Blend
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.6

Every major holiday demands a celebratory wine. This Saturday Labor Day weekend, it’s a 1986 Leoville Las Cases.

The other weekend, we had Ribcap’s with a good Bordeaux & Napa Cabernet but, it was not what I was looking for with an Allen Brothers Ribcap. Allen Brothers steaks are the top 1% of beef in the country.

This 86 Leoville Las Cases started slow but, in short order excelled. The cork (not from my storage) made me hesitate to an extended decant. Even with the Durand corkscrew, it was a little tricky to remove the cork. However, the wine was still sound.

My favorite pairing is a Ribcap & an old Bordeaux. For me, no meal is slower or better. I grew up the youngest in a family of seven...raised by a single mother. My father passed away while I was four months conceived. So, we ate fast and fought for every scrap.

The nose reveals classic Bordeaux notes & style. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, dark, rich, turned earth, dry stones, limestone, cedar notes, old tobacco, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, just a hint of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets.

The palate is; smooth, elegant, ripe and juicy. The 86 still shows some baby, slightly tarry & teethe tannins. The structure, tension, balance and length are incredible. This 86 has years of life ahead of it if you enjoy them at this age and older as I do. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries, faint raspberries notes, & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, crispy toast, dark, rich, turned earth, dry river stones, charcoal w/ ash, limestone/sandstone, dry clay, cedar notes, old tobacco with ash, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, some vegetal characteristics, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, used expresso grounds, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha powder, hints of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets. The acidity is a gentle rain shower and perfect. The long finish defines elegance, balance in fruit & earth, well knitted and goes on for several minutes in perfect harmony ending with dry earth & juiciness over the top.

What a treat it is to drink Bordeaux of this age & older. I love the style of 80’s Bordeaux and really appreciate the 12-13% ABV of that decade. Wish that never changed.

Not sure this makes it to 2060 but, there is still plenty of life in it. Don’t be afraid to decant it 1-2 hours without question on well stored bottles.

Photos of; Chateau Leoville Las Cases, old large wood vats, their archway you see as you enter the property from the D2 & staff working their Estate vines.

Every major holiday demands a celebratory wine. This Saturday Labor Day weekend, it’s a 1986 Leoville Las Cases.

The other weekend, we had Ribcap’s with a good Bordeaux & Napa Cabernet but, it was not what I was looking for with an Allen Brothers Ribcap. Allen Brothers steaks are the top 1% of beef in the country.

This 86 Leoville Las Cases started slow but, in short order excelled. The cork (not from my storage) made me hesitate to an extended decant. Even with the Durand corkscrew, it was a little tricky to remove the cork. However, the wine was still sound.

My favorite pairing is a Ribcap & an old Bordeaux. For me, no meal is slower or better. I grew up the youngest in a family of seven...raised by a single mother. My father passed away while I was four months conceived. So, we ate fast and fought for every scrap.

The nose reveals classic Bordeaux notes & style. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, dark, rich, turned earth, dry stones, limestone, cedar notes, old tobacco, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, just a hint of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets.

The palate is; smooth, elegant, ripe and juicy. The 86 still shows some baby, slightly tarry & teethe tannins. The structure, tension, balance and length are incredible. This 86 has years of life ahead of it if you enjoy them at this age and older as I do. Ripe, funky barnyard fruits of; cooked; blackberries, dark cherries, black, strawberries, black plum, dark cherries, slight dry cranberries, pomegranate, blueberries, faint raspberries notes, & rhubarb. Steeped tea, cola/red licorice, anise, golden brown to slightly burnt pie crust, crispy toast, dark, rich, turned earth, dry river stones, charcoal w/ ash, limestone/sandstone, dry clay, cedar notes, old tobacco with ash, underbrush, graphite, dry crushed rocks, dry top soil, bay leaf, some vegetal characteristics, hints of eucalyptus/mint, old, soft leather, touch of mushrooms, used expresso grounds, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha powder, hints of band-aid/va, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed is soft violets. The acidity is a gentle rain shower and perfect. The long finish defines elegance, balance in fruit & earth, well knitted and goes on for several minutes in perfect harmony ending with dry earth & juiciness over the top.

What a treat it is to drink Bordeaux of this age & older. I love the style of 80’s Bordeaux and really appreciate the 12-13% ABV of that decade. Wish that never changed.

Not sure this makes it to 2060 but, there is still plenty of life in it. Don’t be afraid to decant it 1-2 hours without question on well stored bottles.

Photos of; Chateau Leoville Las Cases, old large wood vats, their archway you see as you enter the property from the D2 & staff working their Estate vines.

Sep 6th, 2020
Jeff Loo

Best btl of the 86 LLC I’ve had. Showing well but easily another 20-30 years is not out of the question. Fragrant and complex all while retaining freshness. A beauty.

Best btl of the 86 LLC I’ve had. Showing well but easily another 20-30 years is not out of the question. Fragrant and complex all while retaining freshness. A beauty.

May 3rd, 2020
Bob McDonald

From the excellent 1986 vintage. Still dense in colour - a deep Ruby. Cedar cigar box dusty some tobacco, mint, a touch of menthol and remnants of black currant. Medium weight with inner strength. The proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. In total balance finishing with soft pliant tannins. Always with these old wines there is the trade off between losing the exuberance of youthful fruit versus the complexity and softening tannins brought by extended cellaring and hoping you pop it at the best time. I have one of these wines left which I hope to share with my son, Hugh (born 1987) and his girlfriend if they can get home from New York for Christmas this year.

From the excellent 1986 vintage. Still dense in colour - a deep Ruby. Cedar cigar box dusty some tobacco, mint, a touch of menthol and remnants of black currant. Medium weight with inner strength. The proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. In total balance finishing with soft pliant tannins. Always with these old wines there is the trade off between losing the exuberance of youthful fruit versus the complexity and softening tannins brought by extended cellaring and hoping you pop it at the best time. I have one of these wines left which I hope to share with my son, Hugh (born 1987) and his girlfriend if they can get home from New York for Christmas this year.

Apr 19th, 2020
Pascaline Lepeltier, MS

Master Sommelier, Wine Director Rouge Tomate New York

8.8

Extremely firm - Almost Pauillac like - a little vegetal in the finish increased its austerity

Extremely firm - Almost Pauillac like - a little vegetal in the finish increased its austerity

5 people found it helpfulJul 24th, 2014
Doug Powers

Towering about the other 5 wines in tonight's blind tasting, massive redfruits, great acidity hides the massive tannins, great wine that seems close to first growth quality!!

Towering about the other 5 wines in tonight's blind tasting, massive redfruits, great acidity hides the massive tannins, great wine that seems close to first growth quality!!

3 people found it helpfulOct 2nd, 2014
Lewis Chester

1986 vintage. Chrismaka lunch at the house. Served after 3.5hr decant (which was probably a few hours short of what I would do next time round). Medium garnet hue - the only true sign of age I found in the wine. Strong pencil sharpening, creme cassis and smoke. Cedar. Very youthful. A lot of fruit. Amazingly youthful. Complex. On the palate, medium plus acidity and tannins - ripe. Medium alcohol. Medium plus concentration of flavour. Balanced. Very long finish. Depth and balance. This is so young still. Don't open for another 10+ years. Drink 2026-2056+. Wonderful potential, but still a baby. Is there a wine on the planet built for the long term better than Las Cases? NB: this is superior to the 1982 I had a month ago.

1986 vintage. Chrismaka lunch at the house. Served after 3.5hr decant (which was probably a few hours short of what I would do next time round). Medium garnet hue - the only true sign of age I found in the wine. Strong pencil sharpening, creme cassis and smoke. Cedar. Very youthful. A lot of fruit. Amazingly youthful. Complex. On the palate, medium plus acidity and tannins - ripe. Medium alcohol. Medium plus concentration of flavour. Balanced. Very long finish. Depth and balance. This is so young still. Don't open for another 10+ years. Drink 2026-2056+. Wonderful potential, but still a baby. Is there a wine on the planet built for the long term better than Las Cases? NB: this is superior to the 1982 I had a month ago.

2 people found it helpfulDec 25th, 2016
Eric L.

Lovely herb on the nose. Still had very nice fruit. The texture was very silky. Lovely!!

Lovely herb on the nose. Still had very nice fruit. The texture was very silky. Lovely!!

1 person found it helpfulJan 6th, 2017
Todd W
9.3

Nose of earth, currants and leather. Big and tannic as one would expect for an '86 Bordeaux. Solid and enjoyable; preferred aromas more than flavors.

Nose of earth, currants and leather. Big and tannic as one would expect for an '86 Bordeaux. Solid and enjoyable; preferred aromas more than flavors.

1 person found it helpfulDec 30th, 2016
Pooneet K

Really excellent. No where near too old. Needs a two hour decant. Excellent acid, deep Bordeaux fruit characteristics, excellent with a big ribeye.

Really excellent. No where near too old. Needs a two hour decant. Excellent acid, deep Bordeaux fruit characteristics, excellent with a big ribeye.

1 person found it helpfulDec 3rd, 2016
Evandro Pereira

Very fresh but still a bit more tannic than I expected

Very fresh but still a bit more tannic than I expected

1 person found it helpfulNov 19th, 2014