Chateau Leoville Poyferre
|Listed Wines||Leoville Poyferre|
|Annual Production (Grand Vin)||20,000 cases|
|Classification||Deuxième Crus (Second-Growths)|
|Second Wine||Pavillon de Poyferré|
|Interesting Fact||Château Léoville Poyferré is not all on the same piece of land. While the Château itself neighbours Léoville Las Cases, the vineyards lie, somewhat scattered, further to the west in the appellation of Saint Julien.|
While sales of premium First-Growths take up less trade, the market is broadened for investors and consumers alike.Left Bank Second-Growths are certainly picking up some of the slack and continue to benefit from maturing buying behaviour in the Far East. Poyferré may still be considered a reasonably priced wine in great contrast to its former siblings Léoville Barton and Léoville Las-Cases which are traditionally considered Super-Seconds and command a far higher price. Now many feel that with such strong selling performances and critical appraisals of late, Poyferré can at last be considered in the same category. While it certainly deserves a place there, so far its pricing makes it a far more approachable wine.
Since Didier Cuvelier took the helm at Château Léoville Poyferré, the estate has been back to producing really exciting wine, with the 1982 a watershed moment for many- just 3 years after Michel Rolland arrived as a consultant. The comeback was firmly cemented in stone when the 2009 won a coveted perfect 100-point score from Robert Parker. More recently the 2016 received high praise from Neal Martin whilst he was still at The Wine Advocate:
"The palate is beautifully balanced with fine tannin, a killer line of acidity and perhaps one of the most harmonious Poyferré that I have encountered at this juncture. It just glides across the mouth and slips down the throat with consummate ease. Superb."
Léoville Poyferré shares much of its early history with the Léoville estate- the mother of the châteaux Poyferré, Barton and Las-Cases. Léoville was split after to the death of its owner Alexandre de Gascq and the impending French Revolution. A quarter of the original estate remained, belonging to Jeanne Poyferré whose name it took on henceforth. A string of bad luck including odium, poxes and war led the Lawtons, its owners to agree to sell to the Cuvelier family who were established throughout Bordeaux as négociants. All three of the estates which had originally together been Léoville won the ranking of deuxième crus in the 1855 classification, but through the middle of the 20th century, Léoville Poyferré’s reputation began to dwindle as a result of poor wines.
In 1979, the estate passed to Didier Cuvelier, an accountant with shrewd business sense who was able to recognise the investment required to put Poyferré back on the map of wine-lovers world over. Didier hired experts Emile Peynaud and Michel Rolland, modernised facilities and shifted the focus of his vines to Cabernet Sauvignon and has since been rewarded by seeing the quality of his wines go from strength to strength.
Chateau Leoville Poyferre Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Leoville Poyferre
One of the more flamboyant and sumptuous wines of the vintage, this inky/purple-colored St.-Julien reveals thrilling levels of opulence, richness and aromatic pleasures. A soaring bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers is followed by a super-concentrated wine with silky tannins, stunning amounts of glycerin, a voluptuous, multilayered mouthfeel and nearly 14% natural alcohol. Displaying fabulous definition for such a big, plump, massive, concentrated effort, I suspect the tannin levels are high even though they are largely concealed by lavish amounts of fruit, glycerin and extract. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.
The wine out distances both Leoville Las Cases and Leoville Barton, but all three of them are compelling efforts. Full-bodied, dense purple in color, with floral notes intermixed with blackberries, cassis, graphite and spring flowers, this full-bodied, legendary effort is long and opulent, with wonderfully abundant yet sweet tannin, a skyscraper-like mid-palate and a thrilling, nearly one-minute finish. This spectacular effort from Poyferre that should drink well for 30+ years. Another spectacular wine from the Cuvelier family, Leoville Poyferre (along with Ducru Beaucaillou) may be one of the two best wines of St.-Julien year after year these days. This is a large estate, covering nearly 200 acres, and the final blend of the 2010 Leoville Poyferre is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 34% Merlot and the rest 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
I have had this wine three times out of bottle, rating it 97 once and 98 twice. It is a colossal success and a potential legend in the making. Its saturated, dense inky/blue/purple color offers up notes of crushed rocks, acacia flowers, blueberries, black raspberries, and creme de cassis. A synthesis of power and elegance, this multi-layered wine has spectacular concentration, sweet but high tannin, and low acidity A stunning effort that showcases this legendary terroir, it is a brilliant, brilliant success. The quintessential Leoville Poyferre? Anticipated maturity: 2009-2030.
The plushest, most ostentatious and dramatic of all the Leovilles in 2000, this wine is already sumptuous, displaying some nuances in its huge nose of vanilla bean, black chocolate, jammy black cherries, cassis, and graphite in a flamboyant style. Opulent, savory, rich, and full-bodied, it is a head-turning, prodigious wine and a complete contrast to the extracted behemoth of Leoville Barton and the backward, classic Leoville Las Cases. The Poyferre’s low acidity, sweet tannin and an already gorgeous mouthfeel make it a wine to drink now as well as over the next 25 or more years.
Absolutely spectacular, the1990 Leoville Poyferre is much more evolved than either of its two Leoville neighbors. Its opaque plum/garnet color is accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, charcoal, creme de cassis, and flowers. Fleshy and opulent, it comes across like a St.-Julien with a Pomerol texture and allure. This beauty has reached full maturity where it should remain for another two decades. Release price: ($325.00/case)
There is no question that Leoville Poyferre was not making wines at the level of quality they have since 1990. That said, the 1982 is a great wine, no doubt because of the vintage rather than the winemaking at that time. A brilliant effort, it boasts a dense purple color as well as a sweet, flowery bouquet revealing plenty of creme de cassis, plum, and cherry notes, stunning concentration, a boatload of power, sweet tannins (the sweetest and easiest to taste among the St.-Juliens), and a long finish. Although close to full maturity, it has at least 20-25 years of life remaining. Release price: ($130.00/case)
One of the finest over-achieving efforts in this vintage as well as a “best buy” for a top-flight St.-Julien, this 2008 is an irresistible success. It reveals an opaque ruby/purple color, lots of unctuosity and a boatload of sweet cassis and black cherry fruit intertwined with notions of licorice, smoke and oak. Full-bodied, remarkably concentrated and stunningly pure and textured, this sensational wine is already drinking well, and will be even better with 2-3 years of cellaring. It should last for 20-25 years. Bravo!
Along with Leoville Las Cases and a few others, this is among the stars of the appellation. Made in a more floral, supple, Margaux-like style, the deep ruby/purple-hued 2004 Leoville Poyferre exhibits sweet, broad flavors, and plenty of tannin lurking beneath the surface. However, the abundant cherry, black currant, licorice, and smoke notes obscure the tannic clout. This rich, powerful, broad beauty should be drinkable in 2-3 years, and last for two decades.
This fabulous 1996 was tasted three times from bottle, and it is unquestionably the finest wine produced by this estate since their blockbuster 1990. Medium to full-bodied, with a saturated black/purple color, the nose offers notes of cedar, jammy black fruits, smoke, truffles, and subtle new oak. In the mouth, there is impressive fruit extraction, a tannic, full-bodied structure, and a classic display of power and finesse. The longer it sat in the glass, the more impressive the wine became. Backward, and massive in terms of its extract and richness, this should prove to be a sensational Leoville-Poyferre for drinking over the next three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2028.
Although I still prefer the 2003, the 2005 Leoville Poyferre is a gorgeously opulent, approachable wine that is far less massive and austere than its two siblings. The most seductive, approachable, and charming of the three Leovilles, it exhibits a dense purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of mocha, black chocolate, creme de cassis, licorice, and toasty oak. Full-bodied with gorgeous upfront fruit in addition to impressive levels of melted, well-integrated tannin, it should be at its finest between 2015-2035.