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  • Time

    03:07 AM
  • Wine average?

    95 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    82
  • Region Ranking?

    42
  • Popularity ranking?

    126

History

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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Vineyards

Between Margaux and Pauillac on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary, Saint-Julien is a small appellation of 920 hectares.
As far as the eye can see, the land is covered with pebbles that naturally regulate soil temperature. Gravel, sand and clay are the other components of this geological alchemy, the result of sedimentary deposits by the Garonne in the Quaternary period. The vineyards of the appellation stretch over gravelly ridges that have been finely chiseled by erosion and designed to promote excellent drainage. Man could not have done better.

 

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 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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Winemaking

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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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  50 wines 

BORDEAUX 2019 / Ch. Margaux 2019 - only 37% of the whole production into Grand Vin. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon + 7% Merlot + 2% Cabernet Franc + 1% Petit Verdot, 14.9% alcohol. Ch. Margaux' technical director, Philippe Bascaules, told me, that Merlot needed to be vinified gently due to its voluptuousness and high alcohol. He made a comparison between 2018 and 2019 Grand Vin - "when I taste 2018 Ch. Margaux, I taste 2018 vintage first, then Ch. Margaux. When I taste 2019 Ch. Margaux, it's Ch.  Margaux first, then 2019 vintage!"
It's a showcase of Cabernet Sauvignon with wonderful aromas of cigar box and tobacco leaves. Extremely elegant and multi-faceted, sophisticated and very stylish for the property. Exceptional complexity and purity. Liquid silk. True perfection here! 99-100p. 

3m 13d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  52 wines 

The Conseil des Grands Crus Classés en 1855 represents all the Châteaux of the worldwide renowned classification which has been established for the world exhibition in Paris in 1855. It is a great chance to taste most of the wines of this illustrious circle. On May 20, 2020 the samples arrived in my office and were stored under pristine conditions to be savoured the following day. As most of the Châteaux have not been able to show their wines yet, it was a unique opportunity to get a broader picture of the vintage 2019. A few Châteaux have already sent wines before the shutdown so that I even had the option to try them a second time. This might explain some slight adjustments in tasting notes and ratings. The Covid-19 crisis is a nightmare -not only for the Primeurs- but in the same time it offered a perfect chance as well. Usually, the Primeurs would have been presented at the end of March. Now, seven to eight weeks later, the wines had more time to mature and to evolve. The samples performed very well and todays tasting confirmed a lot of quotes from producers in Bordeaux. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005. Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and in quantity as well. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production. Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” The result is a vintage with great qualities. In my opinion 2019 is on a comparable quality level with 2018, however showing even more freshness. Terroir might be more important in this vintage than in 2018 but the best ones show truly great wines.

5m 2d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  22 wines 

Crazy, crazy Saturday dinner the 2nd May with friends (we did keep the distance, washing hands, etc.) and enjoyed some extraordinary bottles. We celebrated the liberation of Denmark from Nazis by the Brits, which happened on the 4th May 1945.  So, we mainly tasted 1945s, but wait a minute….


Somebody wise said once – “There aren’t great vintages, only great bottles!” And it was so obvious during the tasting. It was blind and very entertaining one! The wines served were both normal and magnum bottles. All chateau bottled.

5m 14d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  87 wines 

On April 6, 2020 over 90 samples from Bordeaux were arriving. This huge selection was allowing a more deeper insight into the 2019's qualities. The tasting showed for Lalande de Pomerol overall ripe qualities with silky tannins. Fronsac was comparable to 2018 however with more freshness. The wines from Saint-Emilion displayed wines with very firm tannins. The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation where various in style.

6m 13d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  51 wines 

1998 Château Cheval Blanc; Ruby, pink rim, floral, violets, mint, layered, again impossible to describe fully. Close to perfect balance, playfull and stil relaxed acidity. tannins soft, stunning texture, mouthwatering, just ads and ads with air, incredible length, never ending, I keep raising the score on this as it keeps unlocking more and more secrets. I wish I had cases of this one. 98


Served blind, I was sure it was Petrus, as was most of the table. Wine of the evening!

7m 13d ago

 James Molesworth, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Château Lafite 2016 / This offers the best of both sides of Pauillac, with a deep, deep well of dark currant, fig, blackberry and black cherry paste flavors forming a lush side while a series of I-beams made of graphite and iron provide the rigid structure. The two sides meld, pulling in extra sweet tobacco, smoldering cast iron, juniper and savory notes on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering feel. A real stunner. Best from 2025 through 2045.

1y 14d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  100 wines 

Bordeaux 2018 - TOP 100 Wines. "The best vintage of my live" says Christian Moueix of the Ets. Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne. In fact, 2018 is a vintage with wonderfully ripe tannins which taste almost sweet and are characterizing wine with excellent structured. However this vintage was everything else than easy-going. The first six months of the year saw the complete annual rainfall for the Bordeaux region, over 800mm. Mildew attacked the grapes, what meant a reduction in quantity but as the leaves have not been attacked the maturity process continued and the lower yields brought concentrated grapes. Another problem where hailstorms bringing further damage. Some Châteaux like Château Guiraud have lost the complete harvest. "We went from hell to heaven" summarizes Véronique Sanders from Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan the vintage. After the deluge in the first half of 2018, there was a dramatic change for the second half bringing great, dry weather with a lot of sun. The partially high daily temperatures were in change with lower night temperatures and created a tension for aromatic wines. The correct amount of extraction and maceration was crucial and some vintners have changed their maceration processes and made great wines with a lot of freshness. These vintners are amongst the winners of the vintage. If 2018 will belong to the greatest vintages in Bordeaux for the overall production might show the future. However already today there is a number of Châteaux performing 

1y 6m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  52 wines 

Penfolds Grange 2006 / 100 points / This is classic, inimitable, perfect Grange. With its deep saturated colour, intensely fresh dark berry/ mocha/ paneforte/ roasted chestnut aromas, rich velvety palimpsest of flavours and wonderful vinosity, it evokes Max Schubert's "buoyant and ethereal" vision splendid. This is not just any wine. This is great lasting legend-making Grange; a beautifully aromatic and voluminous wine with superb fruit complexity, balance of weight, substance and texture. Seductive, elemental and expressive, it will further develop and improve beautifully over the forthcoming decades. This is a forty or fifty year wine at least. 100 points, Andrew Caillard MW

1y 9m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2011 - 96+ points - Much better than Lafite with great sophisticated touch, stunning ripeness and depth. Nose is so aromatic and distinguished, captivating, intense and deep. Immense class and style. This wine was already one of my favorites from barrel (96p) and it didn't change from the bottle. 96+p.

1y 10m ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Drinking History-tasting with wines from vintages 1878 to 1978.

1y 10m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  14 wines  from  Château Léoville Poyferré . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Leoville Poyferre is one of the top performers in Bordeaux. It's steered with professionalism, great precision and firm hands by Anne Cuvelier and her cousin Didier Cuvelier. It is quite funny experience to find out where cellars and offices of Leoville Poyferre are, as they share same drive-ins with Leoville Las Cases. There are very impressive and impeccably clean cellars and modern offices.

2y 29d ago

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