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The VAULT

The VAULT

The VAULT

A person’s wine collection tells a lot about their passion and personality. While not every wine is for everyone, certain bottles simply command respect in a way that goes beyond personal taste. Every bottle is a reflection of the culture that produced it, the people who devoted hours and days, months and years to the art of winemaking, each grape carefully picked and processed when the time is just right. Some blends are so coveted, it takes you a decade to receive your first bottle, and the wait makes the wine that much sweeter. If a wine is worth adding to your collection, it performs astonishingly at any kind of social gathering and will create memories for years to come.

As a result, the market for top-quality wines grows every year. It is more important than ever to secure your spot on big waiting lists, as many brands produce only a small amount of wine annually. With how much wines can vary from year to year, due to the condition in which grapes grow, you don’t want to miss the best vintages. Part of our mission is helping people like you wrap their lips around the juiciest, most elegant blends we can find. While some people are in it for profit, we think the true joy of wine comes from tasting it, and sharing it with your closest friends, family, and loved ones. The sheer emotion that goes into winemaking rubs off on the person imbibing it, allowing you to peer through windows across time and space and rekindle your love for nature, and your love for humanity. Let’s explore this land of delicious swirling crimson together.
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1982 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Still stubbornly backward, yet beginning to budge from its pre-adolescent stage, this dense, murky ruby/purple-colored wine offers up notes of graphite, sweet caramel, black cherry jam, cassis, and minerals. The nose takes some coaxing, and the decanting of 2-4 hours prior to service is highly recommended. For such a low acid wine, it is huge, well-delineated, extremely concentrated, and surprisingly fresh. Perhaps because I lean more toward the hedonistic view of wine than the late Michel Delon, I have always preferred this to the 1986, but the truth is that any lover of classic Medoc should have both vintages in their cellar. This wine has monstrous levels of glycerin, extract, and density, but still seems very youthful, and tastes more like a 7 to 8-year-old Bordeaux than one that is past its twentieth birthday. A monumental effort. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPTasted at the domaine, the 1982 Leoville Las Cases is just about pure perfection, and while certainly mature, it has plenty of life ahead of it. Thrilling notes of blackcurrants, kirsch, tobacco leaf, cedar box, menthol, and exotic spices all emerge from this seamless, powerful yet magically elegant Leoville Las Cases. Opening up in the glass, with a smoky, singular character, it’s an incredible wine from this terroir that has an almost Latour-like regal quality. It should continue drinking well for another 10-15 years and I’m sure will keep even longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDIt’s impossible, I know, to believe that a St-Julien might not be perfectly ready to drink at this ripe old age, but here we are, face to face with the conundrum that is Léoville Las Cases. You’ll be happy to hear I had the 1981 Léoville recently and it was actually open, soft and ready to go. This 1982 is still a little stubborn on first opening, but gets better and better in the glass, with sweet brambly ripe fruits, and rippling tannins that are almost honeyed at this stage. Classic, dense, mineral minty touches on the finish, great persistency and a way still ahead of it. Michel Delon, father of today’s owner, was in charge at this point (and until 2000) and the cellar master Bruno Rolland remembers that they were working in shorts at night in the vat house because even after harvest the temperature was not dropping below 20 degrees at night. They were the first estate in St Julien to start harvesting in 1982 by the way, on September 13. Petit Verdot 5% finishes the blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 97 DECA racy, classy, silky wine. Inky-ruby color. Black cherry, mineral and wet earth aromas. Medium-bodied, with very silky tannins and a long, superfine finish. Has always been excellent.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2000.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Leoville Las Cases) The 1982 Leoville Las Cases is a very nice and youthful wine, but I have always been under the impression that this wine was made in the cellar, rather than the vineyard, and will never really attain the level of greatness that is attributed to it elsewhere. The wine is certainly deep and concentrated in personality, offering up a still quite primary bouquet of cassis, black cherries, cigar ash, a touch of mint and plenty of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, quite extracted in profile and still fairly tannic, with a good core, fine focus and grip and very good, but not great length on the youthful finish. Maybe this will eventually become the complex wine of its considerable reputation, but I am skeptical, and rather expect the ’82 Las Cases to always trade on its power, but never develop the complexity of the truly great wines of this vintage. Call it good, not great. (Drink between 2023-2075).John Gilman | 93 JGSadly, it is not a great night for Bordeaux. The 1982 Léoville Las Cases is powerful but also incredibly compact, with little appeal or mid-palate depth. This is a very stubborn wine, even within the context of Las Cases.Antonio Galloni | 92 AG

100
RP-HG
As low as $659.00
1986 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

The late Michel Delon always thought that this was the greatest vintage he had produced. We often tasted it side by side with the 1982, because I always preferred the latter vintage. Of course, the two vintages are quite different in style, with the 1986 a monument to classicism, with great tannin, extraordinary delineation, and a huge, full-bodied nose of sweet, ripe cassis fruit intermixed with vanilla, melon, fruitcake, and a multitude of spices. The wine has always been phenomenally concentrated, yet wonderfully fresh and vigorous. The wine still seems young, yet it is hard to believe it is not close to full maturity. It is a great example of Leoville Las Cases, and another compelling reason to take a serious look at the top Cabernet Sauvignon-based Medocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPMichel Delon, then owner, believed this to be the greatest wine he ever made. It’s not often the case that wines with this much expectation riding on them live up to the hype, but this one did. A stunning wine that, at 33 years old, still feels fresh, concentrated and with a long way left to go. The tannins have the characteristic Las Cases weight and definition to them, giving form and shape to the sweet berry fruit, but the overall impression is of welcoming, juicy pleasure. Harvested from 1 to 17 October. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035.Decanter | 100 DECSaturated dark ruby. Cassis, shoe polish, camphor and rose petal on the nose; this reminded me of a great vintage of Latour. Dense and extremely concentrated; explosive yet totally backward. There nothing playful about this infant claret. Finishes with extraordinary, slow-building persistence. Very serious juice; one of the great Bordeaux of the 1980s. Drink 2010 through 2035.Vinous Media | 98 VMFirm and focused, with beautifully articulated currant, raspberry and nutmeg aromas and flavors; very supple for such a lean-textured Bordeaux. Approaching drinkability, but it can use until 2000 to soften.--Léoville Las Cases vertical.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Léoville Las Cases (St. Julien)) The 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases remains a stubbornly backward wine at age thirty-two, and I am beginning to wonder if it is just stuck in a seemingly endless adolescence or if the wine is going to turn out to be stillborn and never blossom. The bouquet offers up a still quite youthful blend of black cherries, cassis, a touch of mint, Galloise cigarette smoke, dark soil and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, simple and powerful in personality, with a rock solid core, firm tannins and a long, four-square and recalcitrant finish. Maybe this will blossom one day, but I do not have a ton of faith in the wine anymore. And, even if it does one day start to blossom, it still seems likely to not be a particularly complex example of Las Cases in the making. If it does one day start to soften up and open, it should merit a score at the top of my range, but that seems less than a fifty-fifty proposition at this point. I should mention that I have tasted this wine three or four times in the last decade and my impressions have been consistent, so this is the wine, rather than a reflection of a possibly atypical bottle (Drink between 2025-2075).John Gilman | 84-92 JG

100
RP
As low as $635.00
1989 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

1989 was an early year, with flowering three weeks ahead of usual. Now at 30 years old, a floral aspect curls out of the glass, with touches of roses and peonies, followed on the palate by bilberries and blackberries, with a cigar smoke and eucalyptus finish. It’s still vigorous in its tannic structure, but it’s soft and supple enough to enjoy today. This bottle was recorked by hand at the winery last year, with five people checking every single one of the 5,000 bottles remaining at the chateau. The wines were topped up from magnums of the 1989. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend - a variety not used in the grand vin since 1996. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECVery ripe, with raisin and dried fruits on the nose. You can smell the sun-dried grapes. Full-bodied, delivering firm tannins and a very fresh palate. Long and flavorful, offering currant, berries and all sorts of dark fruits, but turns lightly earthy and floral. This is a thoroughly complex wine. Just starting to really open into the mature 20-year-old wine it is, but such a great life ahead of it. Muscular.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOne of the most youthful wines of the vintage, the 1989 Léoville Las Cases unwinds in the decanter and glass with aromas of blackcurrant and pencil shavings, framed by a discrete patina from its aging in oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and tightly wound, it’s impressively pure and vibrant, though it lacks the mid-palate plenitude of the vintage’s best wines, displaying a touch of tannic asperity on the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to improve with further aging, though my sense is that the Cabernet Sauvignon might have been picked a little prematurely in this vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP

98
DEC
As low as $355.00
1996 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

I think we can officially declare 25 years as being the sweet spot for Léoville Las Cases - at least in slow-ageing vintages such as 1996, which is so perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon. Still full-bodied and concentrated even now, but generous also, with cassis, tobacco and cigarbox smoke softening the edges of flint-chiselled tannic frame... Las Cases can be almost Burgundian-like in how elusive it is (in this case because of how stubborn and tannic it can prove), but when you get the one bottle that sings, it’s all worth it. This more than proves the point. Michel Delon owner at the time.Jane Anson | 100 JAHaving previously rated it nearly perfect, I was apprehensive of a letdown about tasting the 1996 Leoville Las Cases once it had been bottled, but that concern was quickly dismissed once I put my nose in the glass. A profound Leoville Las Cases, it is one of the great modern day wines of Bordeaux. This wine’s hallmark remains a sur-maturite (over-ripeness) of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Yet the wine has retained its intrinsic classicism, symmetry, and profound potential for complexity and elegance. The black/purple color is followed by a spectacular nose of cassis, cherry liqueur, pain grille, and minerals. It is powerful and rich on the attack, with beautifully integrated tannin, massive concentration, yet no hint of heaviness or disjointedness. As this wine sits in the glass it grows in stature and richness. It is a remarkable, seamless, palate-staining, and extraordinarily elegant wine - the quintessential St.-Julien. Despite the sweetness of the tannin, I would recommend cellaring this wine for 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2035.Robert Parker | 98 RPSaturated bright, dark ruby. Perfumed, vibrant, very youthful aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Dense and powerful, with great clarity of flavor thanks to a terrific spine of acidity. Almost painfully structured wine but not at all hard. Finishes very long and gripping, with a note of bitter chocolate. Drink 2012 through 2040.Vinous Media | 96+ VMIncredible nose of blackberry, mineral, cedar and currant. Full-bodied, with silky and refined tannins and a medium caressing finish. It’s a beautiful wine that begs to be drunk now but will age and improve for a long time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

98
RP
As low as $475.00
2009 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Let yourself go and sink into this deep dark chasm that will swallow you whole if you let it. Enormous concentration, but every bit as much finesse, the finish extremely long and fine. And this is just beginning to give its best! Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.Robert Parker | 98+ RPThis is gorgeously layered with cassis bush, anise, roasted fig and plum reduction notes all framed by racy espresso and graphite. Very deep and very long, with terrific intensity on the finish thanks to razor cut from the seemingly endless iron spine. With its purity and precision, this mineral-driven Cabernet should cruise for two decades. Best from 2020 through 2035. 14,165 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSStill a baby, the 2009 Château Leoville Las Cases is largely in the mold of the 1990 and 1982, offering a sexy opulence while staying in the classic, structured style of the estate. Based on 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, its still ruby/purple hue is followed by a sensational array of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, green tobacco, exotic spices, and incense. With incredible purity, ultra-fine tannins, full-bodied richness, and that rare mix of power and elegance, this magical Saint-Julien is just now starting to reveal some secondary nuances and won’t hit full maturity for another decade. It should see its 75th birthday in fine form.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA beautifully structured wine, with its tannins layered between the ripest black plums, damsons and black currants. It is opulent while remaining dense, concentrated and very serious. Certainly a wine for long-term aging.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThe 2009 Léoville Las-Cases simply delivers on the nose with intense blackberry, wild hedgerow, graphite and crushed stone aromas on the nose. You would put this down as a Pauillac if served blind, unsurprising given that it borders that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky smooth in texture with immense depth. It is blessed with quite brilliant delineation and the precision on the finish is magnificent. Chapeau Mon. Delon. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMBeing Léoville-Las Cases, it is, as you would expect, still pretty determined to play its cards close to its chest. And yet the exuberance and generosity of 2009 is beginning to peep though. For those of us who lack patience, these kind of years are just brilliant for checking out what Las Cases is all about: brooding tannins are just starting to stir, controlling a tight-knit cassis, cigar box, pencil lead and liquorice body. You feel the skill in the unpeeling of the tannins, opening to reveal the perky fresh core, and you can see just why this is such a great estate. Drinking Window 2022 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DEC(Château Leoville las Cases) The last vintage of Leoville las Cases to really move me was the 1978, so I am probably underrating this very powerful and seamlessly constructed wine a bit. The nose today on the ’09 is very deep, sappy and quite primary at this point in its evolution, as it offers up scents of black cherries, cassis, a touch of blueberry, dark chocolate, tobacco smoke and raw (but integrated) new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and sappy at the core, with plenty of firm tannins, excellent focus and balance and a very long, still somewhat woody finish. There is little doubt that there is sufficient stuffing here to fully absorb its sixty-five percent new oak with further evolution, and I am sure that there are other tasters that will really love this wine for its deep and powerful personality. But for me it is a bit of a brute and I have a hard time imagining the wine ever developing any breed or nuance to go with its raw power. Very well made in its style. (Drink between 2020-2050).John Gilman | 90-92+ JG

99
RP
As low as $295.00

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