Chateau Leoville Poyferre Super Second Bordeaux Wine?


Chateau Leoviille Poyferre Didier Cuvelier

Chateau Leoville Poyferre Super Second Bordeaux Wine?  Does Leoville Poyferre belong to the elite club of Bordeaux wines dubbed super seconds?  Why not?  It’s been the model of consistency and the 2009 Leoville Poyferre recently scored 100 Pts from Robert Parker.  If not, it could be argued they are headed in that direction.  The chateau, with its combination of sublime wines and continuous promotion is sought by wine lovers all over the world.

Since 1982, Chateau Leoville Poyferre has been making exciting wine. In some vintages, they have produced the top wine of the St. Julien appellation.  More importantly, they consistently release outstanding wine with a strong track record for aging.

The estate is managed by Didier Cuvelier who early on, brought in Michel Rolland to consult. In fact, Didier has been running things since 1979. It took only 3 years before he turned his first super star wine, the sublime 1982.  Since Didier took over, he instigated a massive replanting program. Most recently, he ordered a renovation of the vat rooms that was completed in time for the 2010 harvest. That renovation included replacing their 10 older vats with 20 new, stainless steel double skin vats ranging in capacity from 60 to 165 hl. These additions allowed more precision in the vinification, which as you can see from my 2010 tasting notes, made an impact on the quality if the wines.

To answer the question, does Chateau Leoville Poyferre belong to the elite club of Bordeaux wines dubbed super seconds? As a matter of quality, yes! Fortunately for consumers, the wine is not priced at the same level as the Super Seconds.

In June, I tasted a few recent vintages of Leoville Poyferre with Didier Cuvelier, along with his 1996.

Chateau Leoville Poyferre Wine

2010 Leoville Poyferre  – Blending 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, they produced a St. Julien wine offering earth, caramel, coffee and dark berry liqueur aromas. This powerful, tannic, rich, pure and intense wine combines freshness with opulence, due to the high 14% alcohol and low pH levels.  Over the last two months, the wine has fleshed out, becoming better integrated and rounder.  There is no sensation of heat in the wine.  Full bodied and tannic, this will require several years of bottle age before it begins to mature. The wine was released at 85 Euros, which was more expensive than the 2009. 95-96 Pts

2009 Leoville Poyferre What a sexy St. Julien! This plush, rich, opulent, sweet, intense is filled with crème de cassis, chocolate, licorice, truffle, tobacco and spice.  The pure, long, fresh, sweet black cherry filled finish is a delight to taste and feel on your palate.  This is the Leoville Poyferre to buy in today’s market. It’s better than the 2010 and it sells for less, at least for now. 96 Pts

2002 Leoville Poyferre With an earthy, black and red fruit nose, the wine shows some tart flavors along with hints of green flavors in the austere style of this vintage. 88 Pts

2000 Leoville Poyferre Beautiful attention grabbing aromatics filled with licorice, cherry, smoke, coffee, truffle, cassis, earth and spice pair perfectly with the rich, supple textures.  Still young, another 10 years will add a lot to the long, concentrated, silky, round, black and red, spicy fruit filled finish.  96 Pts

1999 Leoville Poyferre – At age 12, this Bordeaux wine is tasting mature with its tobacco, mushroom and earthy, cassis and cranberry driven personality. Medium bodied, this lighter style of St, Julien will offer the most pleasure over the next 5-7 years. 90 Pts

1996 Leoville Poyferre Filled with truffle, smoke, licorice and cassis, the wine is structured, ripe, round and ends with a delicious, sweet black cherry filled finish.  At 15, this is drinking great and should remain at this level or improve a little bit for at least another 15 or more years. 93 Pts

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