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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.
The year 1929 was an extraordinary year in the vineyards of Bordeaux as well as on Wall Street. When the U.S. stock market crashed in 1929, it produced several unwanted effects abroad, especially in Europe, where many countries had not fully recovered from the aftermath of World War I. In Germany the economic disaster and the resulting social dislocation contributed to the rise of Adolf the United States there were 16 million unemployed – about a third of the available labour force.
In Bordeaux the 1929 is one of the “legendary” vintages of the century. Its reputation was made even greater as the 30s were really a catastrophic decade, and it was not until 1945 that anything of equivalent quality was made. In Bordeaux those sixteen years were one of the longest “dark periods” in the 20th century. The year of 1929 was extremely hot and dry, the driest since the beginning of the century. It only rained for a short period during the harvest, but then the fine and hot weather came back again. The grapes became very concentrated, high in tannins and produced wine to last.