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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 1953 become the first top vintage of the 1950s. The year ended up to be an excellent one, even though the heavy rains of September threatened to destroy a good year. The hot, dry summer was crowned by a perfect August. The mercury rose above 30°C on more than half of the days in August. Fortunately, the rains that came in mid-September made way for ideal harvest conditions at the beginning of October. The finest wines of this vintage are united by their elegance, delicacy and temperance. They should ideally be decanted for two hours before drinking. The vintage received praise particularly in Médoc, which produced the best wines of the entire vintage. One of the most highly renowned of these is the Château Lafite-Rothschild. Many consider it to be best Lafite-Rothschild of the entire 20th century. Although Graves and Sauternes also produced some top wines, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion today offer so many outstanding creatures, with the crème de la crème being the Cheval Blanc and Lafleur.