The 50 hectares of Léoville and 17 hectares of Langoa, planted in gravelly soil with a clay sub-soil, include large proportions of old vines in order to obtain the best possible quality. The grape varieties is 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc for Léoville Barton, while Langoa Barton’s terroir is shared as follows 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. Both properties have the same vinification methods.
The wines are typical of the Saint-Julien area, well balanced wines with subtle bouquets and flavours; the emphasis being on elegance and finesse rather than on power and extraction. This is achieved by picking the grapes at their maximum ripeness and allowing the fermentation to take place at a controlled temperature of 30/32°C. Although excessive extraction is avoided by removing the juice from the skins at the appropriate time, the wines have a lovely deep colour, excellent structure and sufficient tannins to ensure good ageing potential.
By complete contrast to Langoa, Leoville Barton is a monumental wine with real gravitas. Produced from 86% Cabernet and the balance Merlot, this is a reserved, reticent wine that slowly unfurls to reveal a glorious bouquet of damson liqueur, graphite, cloves, spice, fine herbs, tobacco and flowers. There is considerable mid palate weight here although there is no excess; it is all pure, taut dark fruit which builds and builds offering layers of nuanced black and red berry fruit and minerals. Although understated this is a big wine and will reward considerable cellaring; the stunning fruit coated tannins hint to a long future. Impressive stuff!