One of the oldest Medoc estates, Domaine de Léoville belonged to some of the wealthiest and most influential noble French families before it was acquired by the Las Cases family. The estate was split up between 1826 and 1840 as a result of the French Revolution. (Expropriation of emigrants’ property and constitution of egalitarian redistribution). Château Léoville Las Cases was created, thanks to a kind of birthright, from 3/5 of the original estate and the heart of the domain.
The Grand Vin’s current terroir has therefore been at the historic heart of the original terroir since the 17th century. Pierre Jean, Adolphe and Gabriel de Las Cases were successive heirs to the property until 1900, when Théophile Skawinski purchased a share in the estate and became its manager. Léoville Las Cases has now been managed by the same family since the late 19th century and is today represented by Jean-Hubert Delon, sole owner of the Château and proprietor of Château Potensac in the Medoc and Château Nénin in Pomerol.
From a late, difficult vintage (harvest didn’t come in until October), Chateau Leoville-Las Cases Saint-Julien 1988 is nevertheless a beautiful wine that’s drinking fabulous well today. Ripe currants, green tobacco, cedarwood, and loads of spice all emerge from this medium-bodied, fresh, elegant, yet oh, so charming Saint-Julien. It’s not getting any better, but still has plenty of life. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years.