Marquis

I’ll start simply and by stating the obvious. Well-priced and ready to drink ex château magnums of pedigree St Julien from remarkable terroir in legendary vintages and made by the team at Leoville Las Cases, do not exactly grow on trees. Aged at the Château since release, these could not possibly be in better condition and represent a remarkable buying opportunity. Take advantage!

2005 Clos du Marquis, St Julien

The Clos du Marquis 2005 is evolving into a little beauty. It has an opulent, downright sexy bouquet with macerated dark cherries, briary, mint interlaced with candied orange peel that is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with sturdy tannin cloaked in spicy red fruit, hints of red peppercorns and graphite infusing the finish that fans out gloriously. Yet everything remains tightly controlled thanks to the tight rein on acidity. Cannot afford Léoville Las-Cases? Then you know where to come. 93 pts., Neal Martin, Vinous


More about the wine:

Clos du Marquis is often mistaken as a ‘second wine’ of Leoville Las Cases, but that’s not strictly the case. Young vines from the latter go into the ‘Petit Lion du Las Cases’ and this is instead made from dedicated vineyards just west of the ‘Grand Enclos’. These are centred around the ‘Petit Clos’ of the former home of the Marquis de Las Cases (whose name is still shown on the label of Leoville Las Cases) and surrounded on all sides by Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, and Pichon Lalande. Not exactly a bad spot to be in- genuinely one of the finest terroirs in the whole of the Médoc.

Both châteaux in fact have their own second wines, so they really are entirely separate (though very close) in terms of origin. On the other hand, they are both vinified and matured in a very similar way by the same team, so while not quite two parts of a whole, Clos du Marquis does havd more than just a family connection with Leoville Las Cases. Robert Parker described this 2005 as reflecting the ‘utter brilliance’ of its big brother. Either way, whatever the link, this is a magnificent wine in its own right, let alone in ex château magnums at thirteen years of age.

The Clos du Marquis 2005 is evolving into a little beauty. It has an opulent, downright sexy bouquet with macerated dark cherries, briary, mint interlaced with candied orange peel that is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with sturdy tannin cloaked in spicy red fruit, hints of red peppercorns and graphite infusing the finish that fans out gloriously. Yet everything remains tightly controlled thanks to the tight rein on acidity. Cannot afford Léoville Las-Cases? Then you know where to come. 93 pts., Neal Martin, Vinous