You’re reading the super old version of this blog, to go to the new blog visit www.wine90.co.uk
Château Léoville Poyferré
The wines of Château Léoville Poyferré hold such a place in my wine heart that I can’t quite believe its taken two years for me to feature the estate. Château Léoville Poyferré count among my Top 10 favourite non Italian producers for creating approachable, sensual, fruit forward Bordeaux at a fair price, especially considering the name and classification. Possibly down to the high percentage of Merlot in the Poyferre compared to the Las Cases and Barton, the Poyferre, in my experience, drinks well from under the gun and, except in key vintages, the prices are very attractive.
Twas not always the case. Regarded as the third Leoville of the “super seconds” the reputation of Léoville Poyferré languished well behind Las Cases and Barton for much of the 60′, 70’s and to a less obvious degree the 80’s too. Great strides have been made at the estate over the past 20 years and while the trend is actually to reduce the Merlot and style Poyferre in the image of the other Leoville properties no one can argue with the quality and value coming from Poyferre as it stands today. The recent increases in new oak and later harvests have added weight to Poyferre allowing them to stand amongst the very best from St Julien.
I’ll go Poyferre in almost any situation calling for Bordeaux and have consistently enjoyed the vintages of the last 10 years, especially the 00′, ’03 and ’04, with ’04 one of the best value Bordeaux wines in that £30 price range and ’03 hard to come by thanks to 98 Parker points.
Château Léoville Poyferré is a second growth St Julien property producing three wines, the grand vin, “Chateau Leoville Poyferre“, the second wine “Chateau Moulin Riche” and the third label “Pavillon de Connectable“. A historically significant producer, there has been wine production here since 1638, Poyferre was the largest vineyard in the Medoc at the time of the French Revolution, qualified as a 2nd growth in the 1855 classifications and in 1920 was bought by the Cuvelier family who still own the property today.
The grand vin is currently a 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc blend. The grapes at Poyferre are hand picked and sorted. The lush, opulent style of the wine is helped along by 50% malolactic fermentation in barrel with 75% new oak for 18-20 months. The Moulin Riche, Poyferres second label is also a savvy purchase, less expensive than the grand vin the Moulin Riche is partly rejected grand vin and partly wine coming from a second, separate property. At half the price this wine can be hit and miss but in certain key vintages can provide real value for money. Look out for the ’00 and ’05.
Léoville Poyferré 2004 – BUY – €40
Lovely deep red in the glass. My bottle came out of the fridge in a tiny restaurant in the Marias so the nose was almost impossible to decipher. Some definite vanilla, cherry and a hint of smoke on the nose. Super mouth feel, really firm and fruity, great tannins, rounded and opulent. 92 Points
Léoville Poyferré 2003 – BUY – €90
Blazing hot ’03 created one of the best Poyferre wines of all time. A deep ruby red, full bodied and thick. On the nose the wine is a mesmerizing blend of sweet cassis, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pencil notes and minerals. Luscious mouth feel, a dense wine that treads that line between strength and finesse, superb balance, strong, firm tannins and a long fruity finish. 94 Points
Léoville Poyferré 2001 – PASS – €40
Dark ruby red with a less Poyferre than usual nose, more obvious oak this time but a smoke/graphite note too. Great on the palate mid-full bodied with low acidity and firm tannins. Really obvious dark cherries on the palate and a nice length to the finish. 90 Points
Léoville Poyferré 1996 – BUY – €60
Ruby red, a touch brown towards the edge. A fine nose, graphite, tobacco, smoke and black currents come together to create a fabulous profile of this wine on the nose which flows into the palate. A full bodied wine, the structure here strikes you first, soft tannins, full bodied, complex with lasting cherry notes. Strong lengthy finish to an opulent and smooth wine. 94 Points
Leave a Comment
Which Leoville is your favourite and why?