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2021 Château Léoville Barton En Primeur

2021 is a landmark vintage for Léoville Barton and Langoa Barton for two reasons.  This is the last vintage to be made in the lifetime of the great Anthony Barton, who passed away this year at 91, and who did so much to create the modern reputation of these estates for unerring consistency and a simple, classical expression of terroir.  It is also the first vintage of these wines to be made in a brand new winery, with all the modern advantages of precision vinification. 

For Jane Anson, the first of these reasons alone is enough to make the 2021s a must-buy, "in memory of Anthony Barton".  The Wine Advocate's William Kelley focuses more on the second reason, noting a new precision to the fruit in Léoville Barton, which he attributes to the new cellar, describing the result as "a terrific success" (93-95 points).  Neal Martin finds the same precisely delineated fruit in 2021 Langoa Barton, "quite a gorgeous Saint Julien that will age beautifully in bottle" (91-93 points).

What we observed most when tasting both wines was how much like 'themselves' they tasted, particularly Léoville Barton.  This is a remarkable feat, to express such a clear, understated identity and terroir, year-in, year-out, whilst capturing the essence of the vintage.  In that sense at least, nothing has changed at these two great châteaux.

Offered en primeur landing spring 2024. Magnums available, other formats on request.

Landing spring 2024.

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Château Léoville Barton, St-Julien Grand Cru Classé

Producer Profile

Château Léoville Barton, St-Julien Grand Cru Classé

Château Léoville Barton is a Deuxième Grand Cru Classé in St.-Julien.

Léoville-Barton was once part of the great Léoville estate, which encompassed what are now Léoville-Barton, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville Las Cases

Irish Bordeaux merchant Hugh Barton (a friend of fellow Irish merchant Bernard Phelan of Phélan Ségur) first settled in Bordeaux in 1722.  The Bartons first purchased Langoa and then in 1826 bought that part of the Léoville estate which was to become Léoville-Barton.  With no château of its own, Léoville-Barton is made at Langoa. This is also the château featured on the label. 

The 50 hectares of vineyards are planted to 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.  The soils are gravel over clay, with a high proportion of old vines.

The Barton's spent the majority of their time in Ireland until Ronald Barton took over.  He became the first Barton to be based at the estate.  His nephew Anthony Barton, who took over in 1983, did much to define the austere, classical style here, favouring traditional vinification and as little intervention as possible, to allow the wine to express its terroir.  The estate is now run by Anthony's daughter, Lilian Sartorius-Barton.

RED 2021 5 cases Château Léoville Barton 75cl £669 per case of 12 Château Léoville Barton
2021 / 5 cases / 75cl
£669 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"St Julien’s location next to the river Garonne saved it from the worst of the frost, and this is one of the best wines in the appellation. It has energy and plenty of depths of fruit to work through, with powerful spice notes of clove, white pepper and turmeric, with the fresh acidities in the cassis and bilberry fruit turned into a prop for propelling things forward through the palate. And even if all this wasn’t the case, this is a wine to buy in 2021 in memory of Anthony Barton, long-term owner and Bordeaux legend, who died in January 2022. 60% new oak. Tasted twice. 94 points." (JA) Apr 2022------"The 2021 Léoville-Barton was picked from 27 September until 7October, matured in 603% new oak. The alcohol is 13.12%. It has a clean and pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and hints of shucked oyster shell: focused and very well delineated, classic in style. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry, very well-knit with beautifully integrated oak. Crisp acidity with the perfect amount of tension on the classically-styled finish, this Léoville Barton demonstrates the advantages of their brand new cellar (even though the reception was not finished in time!) I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar. 93-95 points." (NM) Apr 2022------"A terrific success, the 2021 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of blackcurrant, wild berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's concentrated and tensile, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and all the class that an elevated percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon growing in deep gravel can provide. It's the first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, and I suspect that contributes to the ultra-refined quality of tannin this year. The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times. 93-95 points." Wine Advocate (WK) Apr 2022

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