Vertical of Chateau Leoville Las Cases in ATL

On Saturday several guys got together to taste a beautiful vertical of Chateau Leoville Las Cases at Mark Taylor’s house. We had a blast. The wines are incredibly consistent. Below are my notes. Thanks Mark for a great tasting.

Flight One

Glass 1-
A gorgeous open nose that floats from the glass. Entices. The fruit is darker and wrapped in earthy tones. Very vibrant. Also quite intense. The intensity of a first growth to me. Absolutely stunning!

Glass 2 - This one opens with some VA. The color is browning at the edges. Very ripe and now showing mainly those elements of forest floor and tobacco you get with some age. Nice finish.

Glass 3- This wine was dense and showed very nice fruit. The balance here is neither like the first glass nor the intensity. The other character of this was identical. Very nice.

Glass 4- Earthy fruit that is focused and has some tobacco overtones. The palate shows resolved tannin and goes on for some time on the finish. Again, this was quite good. Just not up to the intensity of number one.

Glass 5 - This showed the more feminine side of LLC to me. Very nice fruit. Focused with tobacco notes on the finish. This is very good.

Glass 6 - This is class in a glass. A beautiful nose of silky darker fruit that has tobacco and some elements of forest floor. The palate is so beautifully balanced and very long. This is my second favorite.

I guessed all of these right somehow so no need to put my guesses down. The 1990 is absolutely incredible.

_1. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1990
2. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1975
3. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1989
4. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1982
5. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1981
6. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1985

Flight Two

Glass 1- Magic. This wine has coffee and dark fruit on the nose. The palate is very full but bursts with complexity. An absolutely stunning finish. This is special. My guess was 2000

Glass 2- Younger nose and less ripe. Maybe a little green pepper here with aeration. The other elements are LLC. My guess was 04

Glass 3- Secondary notes on the nose. The fruit is dark and focused. Some element of tobacco to me. The palate is generous. This is a very good drink. Long finish but not like number one. My guess was 98

Glass 4- More secondary notes here. Lots of tobacco to me. Dark fruit. The palate is very nice but shows a little drying tannin. Extremely long in the mouth. My guess was 95

Glass 5- This is the densest wine of the group. Also to me the one with the most ripeness. This wine has stunning material but never really unwound. The finish is fantastic however. My guess was 2003

Glass 6 - This wine had a great nose. Young with some element of coffee and tobacco. Perfect balance. Very long finish. Amazing stuff. I guessed 2006.

_1. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2003
2. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2004
3. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1998
4. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1995
5. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2006
6. Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2000
A wonderful tasting. Very consistent wines. The only wines that I found first growth intensity were the 1990 and 2003. I really love Leoville Las Cases.
Many thanks to Mark for the invitation!


Sounds like a tremendous weekend, Don. Thanks for sharing.

I’ve had little experience with this estate as pricing was always higher than its peers, I guess as it’s been pushed into the first-growth tier by so many people. The 1990, as you note, was outstanding when I tried it. May need to see about the '03.

Big fan of LLC. Great tasting, although I also really love the 1986 and 1996. Can’t drink everything in one night.

Thanks for the TNs Don. Sounds excellent. I would have loved to have gone to this tasting. I am a huge fan of LLC in most vintages, and have been meaning to pick up a couple of '09s that I liked best in a prestigious lineup of Bdx '09s and '10s. Unfortunately the pricing is going a bit far north for my comfort …


Talk about an understatement Howard! It has always carried a price premium and it is now very expensive… I also have found that LLC seems to take forever to come around. I stopped buying it about 10 years ago based on the slow ageing curve.


Interesting to see how well the '03 is showing relative to the others.

Since no one has mentioned this yet, congrats on guessing all of the vintages in the first flight! That’s quite a feat!

Don. Great notes on the '03, will be interesting to follow this one over the next few decades…

Total luck.


I have single bottles of the 95 and 90. Any insight into how much air they were given before the tasting? And pretty awesome to ace the first flight.


Very nice. I have not had an 82 yet that I would consider ready to drink. These wines are tough to try young.

The 90 was just popped and slow oxed for a couple of hours. The 1995 was decanted two hours ahead.

Very nice to see such a positive showing for the 2003. I’ve got some bottles sleeping, trying to get to the 15 year mark.

We tasted the 03 8mos. ago…was well received by the bordeaux crowd…but agreed…though very good, too young

Then I will keep my mitts off them. Thanks

yes. All of mine are 90 and before. Of course, the same could be said for a lot of my Bordeaux.

Wait…your last name is Champagne? …brilliant

Looks awesome!

Haha it is. Every time I sign up for a wine board I have to explain it to the mods.

Thanks for the write up. I like LLC. But they are an obdurate bunch of wines. They take a very long time to come out of their shell. 2005 was my last LLC purchase.