What Léoville Barton?

I started buying and drinking a bit of Bordeaux. I’ve had decent success with a few wines suggested on this board so far, so I want to continue my journey.

I will have friends over in April, for a fun tasting, and thought about buying a good aged Léoville Barton as it has caught my eye on this forum and it is in a price class where I can play along without having to sacrifice my kids savings :grin:

So what vintage?

So far I’ve landed on 1990 based on CT and searching through this board.

But what vintage would you pick thats drinking well now? It can both be a top top vintage or a surprise vintage that is drinking well now and might be cheaper. Any suggestion is highly appreciated.

1990 is fine if available.
1985 also but more mature.
1996, 2001, 2002 younger but recommended, too.


I’ve understood 2001 is, for some reason, a very iffy vintage with L-B. When it is good, it is good, but there seems to be lots of bottles going around which don’t seem to be okay.

We had one bottle some years ago and it was just dull and underwhelming, yet showed enough fruit and other elements so that it didn’t really come across as obviously corked at any point. Based on CT notes, we haven’t been the only ones. I don’t know if it’s TCA or something else.

1990 and 1996 are pretty solid choices.

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Thanks. Most vintages are available, 1990 included, as I have access to Idealwine here in Europe where new vintages are added every week more or less.

What about 1989?

I’d seek more sound provenance than idealwine for old vintages personally.

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I know it is abit up and down. But had decent success so far. But that was also why I asked about 1989 as I found it at a good price from a Bordeaux collector I trust.

Also found 1996 from a good source now :slightly_smiling_face:

Well its pretty much random, sellers just have to self certify that the wines have been ‘well stored’.

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I’m with Otto, 1990 and 1996 first jumped to mind. I also like 2000, 2001 (which are still young but are tasty) and 1995.


From the in barrel tasting onwards the 1996 has been consistently great. The 2000 will end up slightly better, but I gather you are budget conscious, and it’s still five years or so from full maturity.

The good news is that the wine is pretty available in the secondary market, so I think you can experiment a little, and buy single bottles of each vintage to see which you like, and then go back to find more.

One afterthought. Langoa Barton 2005, made by the people at Leoville, is the only vintage, which I prefer to Leoville. It is also not far from ready. Worth adding to your list.

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I agree on the 1996. It has always been rock-solid. I will be a bit of an outlier and suggest the 2003. It did not suffer from the heat of the vintage and has always been delicious, at least for my palate.

'89 with good provenance should be wonderful. Ditto '90. 1996 will still be somewhat youthful, which could be a good thing.

Dan Kravitz

Thanks a lot. Like the sound of 1996.

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Yea i got that. But that is the case at most auctions I buy from. But I found a 1989 and a 1996 from a more trusted source now. So will probably go with one of them.

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2004 is drinking very well - perhaps creamier and lighter than the older vintages mentioned but better than 01 and 02, for me.


Agreed with Julian on 2004. Also, 2000 is one of the best Bartons ever made.

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I’ve enjoyed both 82 and 90.

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1988 is really good, better than '89 or '90 for me.

2000 is a notable success among vintages that are younger/easier to find but also have a bit of maturity.


That is very interesting. I can find 88 cheaper than 89, 90 and 96 from a good source. It is also the birth year for half of the people coming over for dinner, so that just makes it even more fun!

I like the 88 as well, but for me it is a geeky wine. For the crew he has coming over, I personally think 1990, 1996 and 2000 would show best. And it leaves those cheaper 88s for us! Just had a truly lovely 88 Lalande a month ago.


My own experience with the 2000 doesn’t match the enthusiasm shown by some in this thread, and I personally wouldn’t open another bottle any time soon. Whereas the bottle I recently had of the 2005 was in a very nice spot for current consumption.

I wouldn’t term the 2000 “a notable success”.

I say this having followed the Leoville-Barton wines for decades, and having consumed quite a bit over the years.