Bordeaux 2018: Not Back in Black (Mar 2021)

The 2018 Léoville Las Cases is a very sensual wine. Silky and nuanced, the 2018 exudes extraordinary finesse from start to finish. The 2018 is a bit closed in on itself at first, but then again, that is Las Cases. At the same time, the tannins are nowhere as brooding as they once were. Inky dark fruit, crème de cassis, mocha and a whole range of savory Cabernet nuances run through a dense, packed Las Cases that is all class. The 2018 is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot and that spent 21 months in oak, 90% new. One of the recent developments at Las Cases has been a decease in the use of press wine, about 2.7% for the 2018 versus the average of 5-10% and the 15% or so that was the norm in the 1980s. I imagine that, plus the ripeness that is common these days, goes a long way towards explaining the seductive quality of many recent vintages. This is a fabulous effort from proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon and his team.