Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien Bordeaux Wine Complete Guide

Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien Bordeaux Wine Complete Guide

Learn about everything about Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien Second Growth with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Leoville Barton History, Overview

Unlike most Bordeaux wine producers, interestingly, Chateau Leoville Barton has no chateau. The wines are made at their sister property, Chateau Langoa Barton with which it shares ownership. Here’s a little bit of Bordeaux wine trivia for you, the chateau pictured on the label for Leoville Barton is actually their sister Saint Julien estate, Chateau Langoa Barton.

At one time, Leoville Barton was part of a much larger estate. The vineyards also included what we know of today as Château Leoville Las Cases and Château Leoville Poyferre as well! In fact, it was the largest property in St. Julien.

The Barton family, the current owners of the estate trace their Bordeaux roots all the way back to 1722. That was the year that Thomas Barton left Ireland for Bordeaux. Like many successful owners, he started out as a Bordeaux negociant, or wine merchant.

The first foray into ownership for the Barton family was in St. Estephe, with Chateau Le Boscq in 1745. The family continued being active in not only buying Bordeaux chateaux, but as successful negociants. The Barton family eventually partnered with another powerful Bordeaux family, the Guestier family.

Together, the two families created a massive and extremely successful Bordeaux negociant company, Barton and Guestier. Founded in 1745, Barton & Guestier are still active in the Bordeaux wine trade today.

Leoville Langoa 300x224 Chateau Leoville Barton St. Julien Bordeaux Wine Complete Guide

The next big purchase for the Barton family clan in the Medoc took place in 1821, when they bought their first Saint Julien estate, Pontet-Langlois. Shortly after the sale, they renamed it, Langoa Barton. Their next acquisition was from vineyard land that was culled from Leoville Las Cases.

After closing the deal, the family, following the custom of the day, renamed the property in their honor as Chateau Leoville Barton. Because no cellar or wine making facilities came with the purchase, they were forced to make the wines at Langoa Barton. In time, this became a tradition.

Leoville Barton is now one of two chateau from the 1855 Classification of the Medoc that remains in the hands of the same family that owned it at the time it was classified. CHateau Leoville Barton is still the property of the Barton family today.

While the wine making and marketing for Leoville Barton has always been traditional, during the Art Deco era, the estate redesigned their label to match the times and in my view, created one of the most beautiful labels of the era

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Chateau Leoville Barton The Modern Era

Tradition has always remained important at Leoville Barton. When Ronald Barton took over managing the Left Bank estate, he did not believe in any modern winemaking technology. I wonder what he’d think of wine making in Bordeaux for many estates today?

While the wines of Leoville Barton are in many ways, more traditional than most, they remain popular for that reason, coupled with the estates fair pricing policy that did not become truly expensive until the 2005 vintage.

Following Ronald Barton, Anthony Barton took over the Saint Julien estate in 1983. Within a few years, Anthony Barton renovated the cellars, keeping the large, traditional, oak, wood, fermentation vats. Lilian Barton Sartorius was the next in her family to be completely in charge of the vineyard.

In September, 2011, the Barton family purchased an additional Bordeaux estate, Chateau Mauvesin in Moulis. The family changed the name to reflect their new ownership; renaming the estate, Chateau Mauvesin Barton.

Chateau Leoville Barton Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 47 hectare St. Julien vineyard of Leoville Barton is planted to 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This varietal blend shows an increase in Merlot plantings, from what was planted in the vineyard in previous decades. The amount of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard continues to be reduced.

The terroir is mostly gravel with a subsoil of clay. The vines, which are located on both sides of the D2 road have an average of 30 years of age. However, there are some parcels with much older vines. They have Merlot vines that are close to 60 years of age. The vineyard of Chateau Leoville Barton is planted to a vine density of 9,000 vines per hectare.

The style of Chateau Leoville Barton is of course different than what you experience from tasting the wines of their sister estate, Chateau Langoa Barton. A large part of that of course has to do with their vineyards and their location in the Saint Julien appellation.

The vines for Leoville Barton are situated north of Langoa Barton, and just west of the chateau. Those parcels enjoy a , with a warmer terroir with more access to direct sunlight.

It is important to note that Chateau Leoville Barton does not green harvest. Instead they rely on pruning to reduce yields. Aside from their vineyards, the estate also include one of the most beautiful, picturesque gardens in the Medoc, located directly behind the chateau.

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Chateau Leoville Barton Winemaking

To produce the wine of Leoville Barton, vinification takes place at Chateau Langoa Barton, which is located just across the street from Chateau Leoville Barton. The wines are traditionally made with vinification taking place in large, 200 hectoliter wooden vats. They range in age with oldest vats dating back to 1963.

For the fermentation process, Leoville Barton now prefers the practice of co-inoculation, which means that the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation take place at the same time. The wine of Chateau Leoville Barton is aged in an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for about 20 months.

On average, Chateau Leoville Barton releases close to 20,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year. There is a second wine, La Reserve de Leoville Barton. In 2014, La Reserve de Leoville Barton was bottled with a beautiful, new label, that was modeled after the original, Art Deco styled label previously used for Leoville Barton.

The best vintages of Leoville Barton are: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1990, 1985 and 1961. Leoville Barton is a wine that ages quite well. I have tasted vintages from the 1950’s, which were quite good.

But it has been years since I’ve seen older wines from the estate. With their well-earned reputation for aging, older vintages are definitely worth taking a chance on at auctions, if you can get a sense of the provenance.

Chateau Leoville Barton Character and Style

Leoville Barton is a sturdy, structured Bordeaux wine with tannin that requires time to develop. Traditional, masculine and beefy in style, this property is popular with some collectors because of the reasonable prices the estate charged for their wines. Due to the high tannin levels and style of the wine, the best vintages often require decades of age, before drinking well.

When to Drink Chateau Leoville Barton, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Leoville Barton is not a wine to drink in its youth. The wine is usually far too tannic, powerful and backwards during when it is young. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 3-4 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Leoville Barton is usually better with at least 15 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Leoville Barton offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15 and 30 years of age after the vintage.

Serving and Decanting Chateau Leoville Barton with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Leoville Barton is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Leoville Barton is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Leoville Barton is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta as well as cheese.

Aside from owning Chateau Langoa Barton and Chateau Mauvesin Barton, the family also owns a negociant company, Les Vins Fins Anthony Barton. They are also one of the founding partners in the Barton and Guestier negociant house that dates its beginnings back to 1725.

www.leoville-barton.com

Château Léoville Barton Wine Tasting Notes

28 Vintages 331583 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2016Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)95

A nose of blackberry, licorice, earth and smoky tobacco is easy to notice. Darkly colored, Full bodied, rich, fresh, long and sweet, there is a reflection coming off the ample tannins and lift that accentuates the densely textured, fruit-filled finish. This wine leaves a great impression. Produced from blending 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, the wine reached 13% alcohol. The harvest took place September 29 to October 13.

3991 Views   Tasted
2015Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)96

Another 2015 wine that took a giant leap from its showing in elevage. This is a beauty. Layers of ripe, dark, red fruits, tobacco leaf, spice box and cassis notes. Full bodied, concentrated, elegant and powerful, with a serious depth of flavor, this is one of the great vintages for Leoville Barton. This is going to age quite well.

2833 Views   Tasted

A really good vintage here, the wine has a smoky, spiced cassis and tobacco charm and it's not even out of the box, or the bottle yet. Concentrated and long, this will age rather well.

4958 Views   Tasted 94

Deep garnet in color, the first thing you notice about this wine is fresh, dark, red berries, espresso and cherries. The tannins feel creamy and the wine is balanced, finishing with juicy, peppery, fresh, ripe fruits. The fruits linger nicely in the finish. Blending 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, this wine reached 13% alcohol and is aging in 60% new, French oak barrels. 93 - 95 Pts

5187 Views   Tasted 94
2014Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)93

Waves of smoke, tobacco, dark, red fruits, earth and cedar are all over the place. Concentrated, with ripe, fresh, berries, round tannins and a lengthy, fruit filled finish. For a wine that can quite often demand 10-15 or 20 years to come around, this should drink well nicely with just 5-7 years of aging.

5409 Views   Tasted

With a sweet, ready note of vanilla and cherry, this wine features spicy, crisp dark red fruits and a fresh, bright, tannic finish. Blending 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol and is aging in 60% new, French oak barrels. 92-94 Pts

6671 Views   Tasted 93
2013Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Quite nice for the vintage, and it's going to drink well young, which is something you do not often find in Leoville Barton. The wine provides a medium bodied, early drinking, soft textured, cassis and plum character, with hints of cedar, tobacco and earth. A few years in the cellar should be about right.

1532 Views   Tasted

Using 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, the wine reached 13% alcohol and will be aged in 60% new French oak barrels. Licorice, coffee bean, cassis and dark cherry aromas open to a forward, classic style with an easy dark cherry finish. Unlike many vintages of Leoville Barton, this should drink well quite early. 89-92 Pts

3238 Views   Tasted 91
2012Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

Filled with juicy, ripe cassis, cedar wood, tobacco, soft tannins, length and freshness, this is a really nice wine that will improve with age.

3336 Views   Tasted

Reticent aromas of oak, forest and cassis opened to a soft, medium/full-bodied wine dominated by fresh black cherries and cassis. Produced from a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine will be aged in 60% new French oak. Tannic, but refined, this will need time to come together. 91-93 Pts

5490 Views   Tasted 91
2011Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Surprisingly open and approachable, a light touch was just what the doctor ordered during the vinification, which was perfect for the cassis, earth, spice, smoke, espresso and black cherry filled wine. For Leoville Barton, this will drink well young.

3049 Views   Tasted

From an assemblage of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine will be aged in 80% new oak. The wine reached 12.5% alcohol. According to Anthony Barton, with a little more rain, the wines could have been as good as 2009 or 2010. Deep color with lead pencil, earth, flint, cassis and truffle scents in the nose. Tannic, fresh, bright, crisp cassis is found in the finish. 91-93 Pts

4274 Views   Tasted 91
2010Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)95

Powerful, concentrated, tannic and intense, there is good volume, mouth searing tannins and a richness of vibrant, ripe, crisp fruit that create a long lived wine. From a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, fans of this estate, with patience and the funds should definitely be on the lookout for it.

9010 Views   Tasted

Leoville Barton – Deep ruby with purple accents, cassis, earth and spice aromas open to a big mouthful of juicy, chewy, tannic, cabernet sauvignon. While tannic and broad shouldered, the tannins are soft and round. This is one of my favorite vintages of Leoville Barton. Like all the estates wines, this will age well, but it should be accessible earlier than 2005. 94-96 Pts

9519 Views   Tasted 95
2009Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)93

Blending 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22.5% Merlot and a pinch of Cabernet Franc, this powerful, full bodied, concentrated fresh wine is packed with cedar wood, oak, cassis, minerals and fresh, juicy blackberries. Tannic and refined, buyers will need to forget about this wine for two decades before it’s ready to drink.

12786 Views   Tasted
2008Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Big, powerful, tight and tannic, this masculine, chewy wine fills your mouth with cassis and tannin. This was one of the more backward wines from the tasting.

12950 Views   Tasted

08 Château Leoville Barton is deeply colored. With black fruits and hints of cherry, the fragrance was a pleasure. In the mouth, while the flavors were concentrated, the tannins were slightly rustic, leaving a dry sensation in the finish. 90-92 Pts

9482 Views   Tasted 90
2007Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Quite strong for the vintage, the wine offers soft, charming, red fruits in a medium bodied, earthy, spicy, fresh style. Slightly more interesting with its tobacco and cedar infused, red berry nose, than on the palate, this is ready to drink today.

3405 Views   Tasted
2006Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

Tobacco, cigar box, cedar wood and spicy red fruits make up the perfume. Still deep in color, there is some lightening at the edges of the glass that is becoming apparent. Austere in character, the Cabernet Sauvignon is fresh, crisp and tannic. This definitely needs several more years before it becomes close to user friendly.

6845 Views   Tasted

Concentrated, with loads of cedar, tobacco and tannin, the fruit is fresh, ripe, clean, sharp and tannic. This classic Bordeaux demands at least another decade in the cellar to come around.

6061 Views   Tasted 91

With an earthy, tobacco, cassis, spice, black raspberry, herb and smoky nose, this structured, masculine, tannic, young, St. Julien wine demands another 10 years before the ample tannins soften and begin to meld into the wine. It will probably always be brawny and classic in style.

13194 Views   Tasted 90
2005Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)93

Espresso bean, cassis, spice, earth, cedar and tobacco open the nose. With a serious tannic backbone that demands more time in the cellar, give this powerful, structured, masculine wine another 5-10 years to soften and become fun to drink. It’s going to be worth the wait.

7569 Views   Tasted

There is a lot going on in this masculine, styled, full bodied wine. Filled with tannin and fruit, this demands up to two decades before becoming civilized.

16614 Views   Tasted 92
2004Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)91

With a tobacco, truffle, cedar wood, cigar box and blackberry personality, this is just starting to open. Firm, classic and traditionally styled, there is still some tannin to be resolved Give it another 5 years.

6304 Views   Tasted
2003Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)95

This is probably the only early drinking vintage of this chateau, which normally takes years to develop. Concentrated, full bodied and with round tannins, the fruits are fresh and lively. This should even get better as it develops more secondary characteristics.

6359 Views   Tasted

As you know, the extreme weather in 2003 worked better for some Bordeaux chateaux than for others. In 2003, Leoville Barton hit it out of the park. Showing no signs of heat, jam or too much alcohol, the wine is all about the rich, fleshy, lush, dense textures and layer on layer of perfectly ripe, dark berries that tastes as good as it feels on your palate.

6769 Views   Tasted 95

Tobacco, forest floor, truffle, cigar box, ash, blackberry and fresh herb notes create the complex set of aromatics. On the palate, the round, black cherry and spicy sensations are a treat. Probably close to mature, there is no reason to wait to pop a cork. But there is no hurry either. Drink this delicious wine over next 10-15 years.

9612 Views   Tasted 94

Time has been good to 2003 Leoville Barton. It was a good wine when last tasted a few years ago and it's only gotten better. Secondary notes of tobacco, earth, cassis, cedar chest and cigar box are poking through. Silky tannins, purity of fruit and a long, rich, round palate are perfected by the long, lush, fleshy finish. Drink now, or wait another decade before popping a cork. I'm happy to own it in my cellar, which at the end of the day is strongest comment a taster can make.

11492 Views   Tasted 95

Normally, this wine is very rustic and masculine. But in 2003, I find the ripeness of the fruit helped produce a great style of wine for this traditionally styled St. Julien. Cassis, coffee and licorice entice your nose. The serious fruit, ripe tannins and pure cassis that pours over your palate lets you know this will be a very special wine for Leoville Barton when it matures.

7755 Views   Tasted 94
2002Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

The wine opens with cedar, cassis and earth and forest floor scents are found with time and animated coaxing. Austere and tannic, the wine demands at least another decade before the wall of tannins begin to be resolved.

9020 Views   Tasted
2001Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

Soft, ripe and fun to drink reasonably well young for Leoville Barton, the wine is just starting to open and reveal its tobacco, blackberry cassis and earthy, fresh character. There is still some tannin to be resolved. Give it another 3-5 years.

5232 Views   Tasted

Tobacco, cedar, forest floor, cassis, and blackberry scents open to a concentrated wine. Leoville Barton is usually a wine demanding at least one or two decades before it's fun to drink. Every rule has an exception and 2001 breaks that rule with its forward, soft, approachable, black fruit and earthy profile.

11139 Views   Tasted 92
2000Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

This young, primary wine, expresses an elegant style of Leoville Barton. Blackberry, cassis, earth and tobacco scents open up what seems like an early maturing wine for this chateau. The tannins have more softeners and polish that I usually detect in their wine. Give it another couple of years to develop complexities.

16955 Views   Tasted

Black fruit, truffles and spice in the perfume. Normally, this is a big, brooding, old school wine that takes decades to shed its ample tannin. 2000 is a refined vintage for this Chateau. The wine is already showing well.

14240 Views   Tasted 92
1998Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Firm, structured, tannic, classic, austere and youthful, this needs at least a decade for the tannins to become civilized and catch up with the secondary nose that is developing.

3113 Views   Tasted
1996Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)91

Tannic, young and slightly on the austere, masculine side of the style range. The nose offers secondary notes of tobacco, earth and cedar, but on the palate the wine is still young, crisp and tannic. Give it another 5 years and it could soften. But it will always be a beefy, traditional style of Bordeaux wine.

5534 Views   Tasted
1995Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Still backwards at 17, this soild, masculine, tannic, brawny wine demands at least another decade before coming together.

10937 Views   Tasted
1990Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)90

Still backwards and with boatloads of tannin, this traditionally styled, masculine, tannic wine demands another decade of sleep

5243 Views   Tasted

Beffy, chewy and masculine in style with a big, tannic backbone. Tight. Lacks charm and elegance.

4998 Views   Tasted 90
1989Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)88

Spice, cassis, tobacco and cherries on the nose. The wine finishes with roasted black and red fruit. This is an elegant style of wine for the Chateau. All the tannin is resolved, and the wine is ready for prime time drinking. Owner Lillian Barton thinks the 89 and 90 are the same level of quality, but feels the 90 needs more time before it is mature.

4118 Views   Tasted

Traditionally made, rustic, austere and hard in style. Not my cup of tea.

2647 Views   Tasted 86
1986Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)89

Scents of black fruit emerge with coaxing. Event though this 21 year old Bordeaux was decanted 2 hours, it remained brutally tannic reminding me of a 5 year old wine. Masculine in temperament, beefy, almost hard, daring you to take a bite out of it, or a sip. Layers of ripe black fruit could be sensed under the huge, tannic cloud, but will this be any fun to drink before it hits 30 years old? I doubt it.

2503 Views   Tasted
1985Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

More interesting on the nose than the palate, and this is saying something, as I really liked the softening, full bodied, round, cassis, spice, earth and black cherry finish that got better as time wore on. At close to 30 years of age, this is really showing nicely.

5335 Views   Tasted
1982Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)89

Tobacco, cassis, earth, green pepper, tobacco and forest scents were easy to find. At close to 30, this wine remains beefy, brawny and tannic. With its hard, austere, tannic personality, it's truly a wine for fans of real, old school Bordeaux. The wine ends with a cassis, green herbal, and cranberry finish. This will probably improve with more time, but it's always going to have a masculine character.

7709 Views   Tasted

Traditional, masculine and austere style. Smoke, cedar, cassis, toffee, earth and black fruit on the nose. This hard, charmless wine does not offer much pleasure in the mouth, as the tannins were hard and searing. This wine lacks charm and elegance.

7317 Views   Tasted 88

Earthy, forest scents were made better with notes of truffles, tobacco and cassis. Rustic and masculine in style, the wine finishes with red and black fruits with austere textures. Very old school style of wine.

2964 Views   Tasted 90
1961Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)92

Firm, old school, austere, yet completely charming wine that is still going strong. The tannins are resolved, the cassis has freshness, the secondary tobacco, earth and forest floor aromatics hit the spot. This is a solid example of a classy and classic, mature Bordeaux.

2066 Views   Tasted
1929Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)94

Poured from a bottle featuring a beautiful, art deco inspired label, the wine was filled with smoke, earth, cigar box, tobacco leaf, mineral, cassis, baked cherry pie, ash and vanilla bean. Full bodied, rich and packed with flavor, the wine finished with, rich, plush, sweet plums, earth and cocoa. This was a perfect example of why 1929 remains my favorite mature Bordeaux vintage. They can be incredibly seductive.

3248 Views   Tasted
1920Château Léoville Barton  (St. Julien)84

Surprisingly good at close to 100 years of age, the cedar wood, smoke, cigar box, tobacco, forest floor and cherries were the best part of the wine. Stern in character, medium bodied, there was some strawberries that carried through in the austere finish.

1571 Views   Tasted