Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

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Julian Marshall
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Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#1 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 1:00 am

We had these side by side over the weekend.

L-B 2001
Pristine bottle and cork, with a good level. The colour is still quite dark with just hints of bricking on the edges. The nose is sweet, with gentle notes of blackberry and fading tobacco, plus a touch of cedar. The attack is full of soft red berries, a blend of red cherry and redcurrant, before a middle section of blackberry and a rush of wild strawberry on the finish. Not as spicy as LB can be, not as stern either. Beautifully mellow and mature, perfectly balanced, just the right amount of grip to give it a good structure. It doesn't quite have the zip and depth of a top vintage, but perfect for drinking now.

L-B 2004
The colour is slightly darker, the nose slightly fresher and more insistent, with similar aromas and a touch of brett and leather. In the mouth, however, an entirely different beast to the 01. The fruit sensations are much the same, but still quite primary and what really changes is the middle section, which is silky and much more lifting. If the 2001 is a traditional LB, the 04 is more modern, not in a spoofy sense, but because of the silky, creamy middle section, almost Margalais. The finish is less profound than the 01 but more persistent. If I had been told blind that this was a Léoville, because of the style I would have guessed LLC. It reminded me of LLC in 93 or 94. I've certainly never tasted a Barton like this one. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's very impressive indeed.

Tasting together, the 04 impressed more, but the 01 was the wine we finished first - the earthy depth of the finish draws one back for more. With the 96, the 02 and the 03, that makes five vintages over the last few months. The winner is the 96, with 02 just ahead of 01. Judgement on the 03 is deferred until we have tried another bottle.
The 01 and the 04 sell here for about the same price - for now, the 01 makes better sense, but the 04 is the better midterm buy.

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D@vid Bu3ker
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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#2 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 14th, 2019, 4:44 am

I am a big fan of the 2004, picking up a solid case of 375s on futures back in 2006. $23.99 for each half bottle - would love to find prices like that anymore.

I opened a 2003 back in 2015 that was gorgeous. I only bought a couple of 2003s, and wish I had bought more based on that bottle.

Haven't had the 2001 or 2002 in a while (I have several of both), so will need to check in.
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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#3 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 14th, 2019, 4:54 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 4:44 am
I am a big fan of the 2004, picking up a solid case of 375s on futures back in 2006. $23.99 for each half bottle - would love to find prices like that anymore.

I opened a 2003 back in 2015 that was gorgeous. I only bought a couple of 2003s, and wish I had bought more based on that bottle.

Haven't had the 2001 or 2002 in a while (I have several of both), so will need to check in.
Yea awesome bottles! I paid around that price, just slightly more, for 750s, but yea would have loved 375s.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#4 Post by Ilkka Vainio » January 14th, 2019, 5:45 am

I had the 2002 couple of days ago. What a great wine considering the vintage! We had a tasting of the 2003 vintage some time ago and Barton was my favorite. I wish I had bought more than just one case on release.

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#5 Post by Bill G » January 14th, 2019, 7:26 am

Definitely try the 2003. One of my favorites even straight out of the bottle - no decant.

The 2009 was also a good year. After 3-4 hours of decanting, it was singing.

B
G u t k n e c h t

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#6 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 7:33 am

Cheers guys - well the good news for all of you is that if you want some more - you can get it very easily (over here) at a fair price. The 04 can be found for around 60 dollars, which is a small premium for 12 years in a cellar! It’s one of the great things about LB - the very opposite of a speculator’s wine. The prices have gone up over the years, true, but what hasn’t?

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#7 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 7:35 am

Bill, I’m going to open another 03 very soon - unfinished business! I think we were unlucky.

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#8 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 14th, 2019, 7:37 am

Preaching to the choir here, but Leoville Barton, IMHO, is one of those Chateaux that handles vintage variations better than most, producing strong wines in so-called off vintages (think, 1994), and wines that are not OTT in ripe vintages like 2009 and 2003. I'm not a big fan of these two latter vintages, in general, but LB performed admirably despite the warmth. I would rather have 2004 and 2001, but that's just my palate. I think 2000 and 2005 splits the baby, both killer years for LB. I bought, but have not yet tried, quite a bit of the 2014, a vintage I totally, love.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#9 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » January 14th, 2019, 7:38 am

Julian Marshall wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:33 am
Cheers guys - well the good news for all of you is that if you want some more - you can get it very easily (over here) at a fair price. The 04 can be found for around 60 dollars, which is a small premium for 12 years in a cellar! It’s one of the great things about LB - the very opposite of a speculator’s wine. The prices have gone up over the years, true, but what hasn’t?
WOW.

That's case backfill worthy!

It's over $100 in the States.

"Alfert was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#10 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 7:50 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:38 am
Julian Marshall wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:33 am
Cheers guys - well the good news for all of you is that if you want some more - you can get it very easily (over here) at a fair price. The 04 can be found for around 60 dollars, which is a small premium for 12 years in a cellar! It’s one of the great things about LB - the very opposite of a speculator’s wine. The prices have gone up over the years, true, but what hasn’t?
WOW.

That's case backfill worthy!

It's over $100 in the States.
Big difference...how does it compare with GL for example? Perhaps they charge a premium for delivery to Florida?

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Re: Léoville-Barton 2001 and 2004

#11 Post by Julian Marshall » January 14th, 2019, 7:56 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
January 14th, 2019, 7:37 am
Preaching to the choir here, but Leoville Barton, IMHO, is one of those Chateaux that handles vintage variations better than most, producing strong wines in so-called off vintages (think, 1994), and wines that are not OTT in ripe vintages like 2009 and 2003. I'm not a big fan of these two latter vintages, in general, but LB performed admirably despite the warmth. I would rather have 2004 and 2001, but that's just my palate. I think 2000 and 2005 splits the baby, both killer years for LB. I bought, but have not yet tried, quite a bit of the 2014, a vintage I totally, love.
Quite right - I’ve yet to dislike any vintage of LB - even 84 was quite good! Interesting you mention 09 - I think it was the first vintage with a really big price increase (like all the others). I’m not sure it worked, though - I found some today for 15% less than EP.

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