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In the reign of Louis XIII, in 1638, a certain Jean de Moytié, Counsellor of the Bordeaux parliament and a noble bourgeois of the town, owned a beautifully sloped gravelly vineyard near the River. This place, as was the tradition, was named after its owner and thus became the “Mont-Moytié.”

Historically, the production of Mont-Moytié was among the first Médoc wines, along with the “Château de Margaux”, the “Tour de Saint-Lambert” or the “Château de La Fitte” in Pauillac and the “Château de Calon”, in Saint-Estèphe, which were all established before the period of civil war known as La Fronde (1648-1653.)

These were the first estates to appear in the Médoc parishes, which were later to become commune appellations.


The domain remains part of the Maison de Moytié for a century, and then falls to the Maison de Gascq by marriage. This family was very powerful under Louis XV, counting among it members of the Bordeaux parliament. Antoine, first president of the Chamber of la Tournelle, was owner of a Margaux property which was to become Château Palmer. His brother, Alexandre, married the great-granddaughter of Jean de Moytié and thus became owner of their family domain in 1740. Preferring the more earthy pleasures and the ideas of the physiocrats of the time, Alexandre was more at home in his cellars than in the Palace corridors.

Full of ambition for his property, Alexandre de Gascq renamed Mont-Moytié as Léoville (or Lionville), after his first estate, “a model property” located on the right bank.


So Alexandre de Gascq was aiming to make Léoville a model estate, producing the best Médoc wine. He planted smaller grape varieties, trellising the rows with pinewood. He had winemaking receptacles built in his new cellar and the free- run wine was aged in barrels disinfected with sulphur, and then racked.

Château Léoville was also surrounded by beautiful, fashionable gardens and impressive outbuildings.

When Alexandre de Gascq died, after 35 years of acquisitions and planting, the domain of Léoville in Saint-Julien had become the biggest in the Médoc, stretching over 120 hectares (300 acres).


Alexandre de Gascq's heirs luckily conserved the estate intact despite heavy death duty. From 1775 onwards, however, the wines of Léoville were sold under four different family labels : Lacaze, d'Abadie, Chevalier and Monbalon. Two of these were old winegrowing families : the president of Abadie ran the barony of Beychevelle for a while, and the Chevalier family owned part of the noble house of Gassies vineyard in  Margaux.

More at ease with the sword than the robe, the marquis of “Lascaze” followed the Bourbons into exile in 1793. His share of the domain was naturally sold as national property in 1794 (it was later acquired by Hugh Barton). The rest of the family managed to maintain itself at the head of the property until the Restoration of the monarchy.


In 1826, Charles X, then in power, introduced protectionist “wicked laws”. The English riposted by boycotting the fine wines of Bordeaux and it was in this context of economic depression in the wine industry that Hugh Barton took over the Chevalier and Monbalon estates. The remainder of the property, still in the hands of the Lascase heir's descendants, represented three quarters of the original Léoville vineyard.

In 1840 an equitable division of both the vineyard and land was agreed upon. The eldest son, Pierre Jean de Lascases, received a share, which was to become the original property of Château Léoville Lascase.

His sister, Jeanne, passed on her share to her daughter, wife of Baron Jean-Marie Poyferré de Cerès, from a noble house in Armagnac. A typical Gasconny name, Poyferré (point ferré) originally meant a place on a stony road where it was necessary for horses and vehicles to be shod with iron.

On the occasion of this 1840 division, the label Léoville-D'Abadie had already been replaced by that of the Baron de Poyferré. The buildings of Château Léoville Poyferré and Léoville Lascase were divided into two parts as they are today. This is a unique situation in the Médoc and indeed in the Bordeaux area.


After gaining the honours of the imperial classification in 1855, the Baron of Poyferré fought courageously through the first “war” against oidium that lasted until 1863. After a decade of poor quality, low yields, Jean-Marie Poyferré and his wife were finally forced to sell Léoville Poyferré. The Lalande and Erlanger families, well-known bankers and wine brokers, purchased the estate in 1865.

At this time, many chateaus were falling out of the hands of the Nobility and into the hands of the Bordeaux wine merchants, known as the “Chartrons”. Poyferré was sold for one million francs, representing four years' production (based on averages before the attacks of illness in the Médoc vineyards - 2 casks or 18 hectolitres per hectare). This was a sound investment for Lalande and Erlanger as, once the oidium was dealt with, the great properties were able to make excellent fine wines again.

From 1866, Armand Lalande, who was related to the Lawtons, an age-old family of wine brokers, presided over the destiny of the domain for twenty years.


After the oidium came the phylloxera. In 1879 this louse began infesting the vines in Saint-Julien, and then, to cap it all, around 1885, mildew (or brown rot) settled in the vineyards.

The Bordeaux vineyards paid a high price indeed for the international activities of the port, the handling and transport of agricultural merchandise and the exchanges of plants and viticultural practices. These three illnesses, that had thus crossed the Atlantic from America, hit successive owners in three waves over a period of sixty years. Fortunately, Léoville Poyferré came out of this battle carrying its head high.

In the capable hands of the Bordeaux wine merchants, Poyferré benefited from the opportunities and financial security of the famous “Place de Bordeaux” throughout this difficult period of illnesses in the vineyards.

This system, by which the wine merchants and the properties took it in turns to dominate the market, generated an essential stability that maintained the good reputation of the Léoville Poyferré label from 1865 to 1920.


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In the tertiary era, the Aquitaine basin held a warm, shallow sea with salt-water lagoons and lakes. Over fifty million years, the compacted remains of evolving salt water and fresh water creatures and plants mingled with the sand and clay to form a variably compact rock (calcareous rock formation).

Layers thus formed, making up the tertiary substratum of the Médoc. In the quaternary era, these limestone layers were to be greatly deformed and broken up by the formation of the Pyrenees.

The Terroir - Geology - Zoom Coupe Fabre


The cyclic climatic pulsations of the second part of the quaternary era influenced the ebb and flow of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and the sea level, sculpting the Médoc landscape as we see it today.

During the last 800 000 years there have been seven complete climatic cycles i.e. alternating a glacial period and a temperate period (see table below). The first cycle occurred during the Günzian era, two in both the Mindel and Riss eras, and the last during the Würm era.

As for all the Classified Growths of the Médoc, the excellent gravel of the Château Léoville-Poyferré “terroir” was deposited during the two Mindelian glaciary debacles.


The cyclic climatic pulsations of the second part of the quaternary era influenced the ebb and flow of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and the sea level, sculpting the Médoc landscape as we see it today.

During the last 800 000 years there have been seven complete climatic cycles i.e. alternating a glacial period and a temperate period (see table below). The first cycle occurred during the Günzian era, two in both the Mindel and Riss eras, and the last during the Würm era.

As for all the Classified Growths of the Médoc, the excellent gravel of the Château Léoville-Poyferré “terroir” was deposited during the two Mindelian glaciary debacles.


Nearer the river in Saint-Julien, the gravel from the Mindel II era suffered a stronger and more diverse erosion than that of the Mindel I type. During the Riss and Würm periods, the Mindel II mantle was split by the flow of the tributaries perpendicular to the river (creating braided channels).

These tributaries then filled up with soil deposits from the marshlands but remained important drainage channels, as did the Long, Juliac and Saint Julien brooks.

After this dissection from West to East during the Würm era, the formation of a canyon, now at the bottom of the Gironde River, provoked new erosion from North to South. The hillocks along the riverbank, main geological component of the land of Léoville Poyferré, were thus sculpted on all sides. Various types of gravelly soil then appeared as the water trickled down these slopes. At the same time, sandy-gravelly soils and rougher gravel migrated towards the marshes forming heaps of colluvium (soil displaced from its place of formation by gravity and water). Thanks to the diversified configuration of soils in Saint-Julien, the Médoc winegrower has a whole palette open to him. Each plot's “terroir” reflects a particular personality, according a true expression and typicity to the wines.

The incomparable complexity of the “grands vins” of Château Léoville Poyferré is the result of the extraordinary diversity of all these soil types. The property's vine plots stretch over all these great “terroirs” in the Saint-Julien Appellation.

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About three weeks before the harvest, Didier CUVELIER, Michel ROLLAND, Isabelle DAVIN (the château's own oenologist), Bruno CLENET (vine manager) and Didier THOMANN (cellar master) go over the whole vineyard, tasting berries to add their personal impressions to the data gathered through analyses.


At this time a careful study is made of the state of health of the grapes in each plot and a harvest plan is set up. During these weeks before and during picking these visual and tasting checks are carried out regularly. They are an essential complement to the sugar content/acidity and tannin/anthocyanin analyses performed in our own laboratory.

At Léoville Poyferré, the date to begin harvesting is decided jointly by the consultant oenologist and the technical team one week before the first bunch is cut.

Since 1994, the handpicked bunches are placed delicately in small crates for transport to the vinification cellar. The bunches are sorted by hand before de-stemming and are then sorted a second time mechanically and manually before crushing. Different plots and grape varieties are vatted separately in the 35 stainless steel vats.


Right from the start of the alcoholic fermentation we carry out short and frequent pumpovers from 6 a.m. to midnight.

These pumpovers are adapted to the character of each plot and each vintage. This approach of respecting the nature of the terroirs and the particular profile of each vintage will also influence the way in which the three to four week maceration is carried out. When the wines are run off after the maceration a certain hierarchy can be defined in the wines. The wines coming from the top terroirs, Château Léoville Poyferré, will undergo malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. The wines from the terroir of Château Moulin Riche will be fermented in vats and then transferred into new and one-vintage barrels for ageing.

The second wine, Pavillon de Poyferré, will be aged in barrels having been used for one or two vintages.


The young and dynamic team at Léoville Poyferré are always on the lookout for new ways to perfect their products. The key word here is Quality, achieved through respect of the best traditions and the terroir. Nowadays of course this Quality implies a traceability and quality control procedure. The château possesses its own laboratory.

The rigour of the technical team reflects their will to bring Poyferré wines to their optimum, ensuring they express the typical character of their prestigious terroir, while remaining respectful of the environment.The village of Saint-Julien was the first in France to create a double wastewater treatment plant for both domestic and viticultural wastewater.

Moreover the château has its own wastewater treatment plant for viticultural waste only. For ecological and economical reasons the château has established a program for the introduction of solar panels.

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Wine Moments

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 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  55 wines 

Finally, after some busy days tasting back home in Oslo, here is 2016 Margaux. A vintage with a lot of success in this commune as well. Beautiful texture, pure fruits and that gorgeous scented in abundance almost Margaux typicity that is shining very clearly this year. Another stellar commune in 2016.

3m 16d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

4m 5d ago

 Andrea Rinaldi / Sommelier, Pro (Italy)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  39 wines 

Last weekends best wines including Cheval 1959, Romanee Conti 1970 etc.

4m 12d ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  44 wines 

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 2010 / 20.0 points.

Fine colour. Aromatic, minerally nose. Not as fat as La Tache or Richebourg. A bit more of the stems. Best on the follow through. Very, very lovely complex fruit. Marvelous long, lingering finish. Truly excellent.

4m 12d ago

 Bartholomew Broadbent / Wine Writer, Wine Importer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Our host in Mississippi, Norm Rush, opens a lot of wine from his cellar. It is one of the reasons that 30+ winemakers keep returning every year!

4m 13d ago

 Björnstierne Antonson / sommelier, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Bordeaux notes from vintages 1995 -2011 

5m 4d ago

 Jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  16 wines 

I had the great pleasure to attend one of the greatest wine dinners of my life. The topic was 1961 Bordeaux- for me the most complete vintage ever. To the 25 best wines of that vintage were 5 other wines served blind - all from the sixties. The dinner was finished with the most impressive Port I ever had - the brilliant 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional.

I rarely award 100 points to a wine but here I did it for Ausone, Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, Margaux, Trotanoy, Lafleur, La Mission Haut Brion, 1968 Martha's Vineyard, 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle and 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional. Thank you Robert for an unbelievable evening with the nicest of guests, a fantastic dinner at the marvelous Hotel Königshof in Munich. The wine service was, as always, impeccable led by the star sommelier Stephane Thuriot.

8m 5d ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  29 wines 

The tasting of the year - Vintage 1961 - 11 wines got full 100 points!

8m 17d ago

 Fernando Pessoa, Pro (Spain)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  50 wines 

The Annual Union des Grands Crus Tasting in London - Bordeaux Vintage 2014 - My TOP 50.

9m 7d ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“The 2000 Leoville Barton was atypically subtle and wound at first. After some serious coaxing, aromas of brick, fireplace, cedar, coffee, cassis and deep roasted nuts all emerged. Its long and robust nose became very classic and full of spine, and it was easily the most concentrated wine so far. ‘Is it Cali?’ Wendy joked, but then she admitted that it only walked the line. The palate was also very concentrated and long, possessing spine and more noticeable alcohol but still tasty. The more wines that I had, the more I thought about 1982. Wendy admired its ‘fantastic length.’ The Barton got sweeter in the glass and definitely had that Napa Valley Grill to it but was still outstanding”

11m 1d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  16 wines 

“Bordeaux vintage 1982 Dinner at Restaurant Daniel / Château Pichon-lalande 1982 / Here is a spellbinding wine, soaring from the glass with aromas of currants, smoked meat, truffles, oregano perhaps, this wine is wrapped in nuanced, alluring velvet. Chocolate, earth and cassis dance together at the mid palate, and it radiates a freshness and depth that are just exuberant. Here the Merlot-Cabernet partnership has flourished unforgettably, with cherries, red berries, pepper all beating the drums on the lavish, lingering finish. It is one of the wines of the vintage and is going from strength to strength. 97 Points ”

1y 2m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  109 wines 

“Bordeaux 2015 Part II / Château Margaux 2015 / 100-points / Medium deep colour. Lovely cherry, cola, herb aromas. Silky smooth beautifully balanced wine with red currant, red cherry plum flavours with graphite, espresso, chinotto notes, fine loose knit lacy slightly graphite textures and roasted coffee mocha notes. Fruit expands towards the back palate with light graphite plume at the finish. One of the great wines of the vintage and an evocative salute to Ch Margaux’s great winemaker Paul Pontallier (22nd April 1956 – 27th March 2016). 98-100 points ”

1y 3m ago

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