Leoville-Barton – Breed, Class & Value

Graham Tucker | June 18, 2020

The commune of St. Julien is one of Bordeaux’s most captivating appellations. Despite its small geographical area (smallest of the Medoc’s four major communes), the region consistently produces wines of stunning depth, structure and complexity. And while St. Julien may not garner the attention of Pauillac or Margaux, given its lack of first growth chateaux, the region’s 11 classified estates can hold their own with the best of them. 

While all of St. Julien’s classified chateaux are worth exploring, I particularly enjoy and appreciate the wines of Leoville-Barton. The second-growth is steeped in a long, esteemed history and stands apart for being one of the few remaining chateaux still owned by the same family since the 1855 classification.

Leoville-Barton’s style is traditional of St. Julien – notable for their power, intensity, suppleness, lusciousness and long ageing potential. Best of all, the chateau boasts reasonable prices relative to their outstanding quality – most of Bordeaux’s top wines in like-style and craftsmanship can be four-times the price, or more! Hence, Leoville-Barton is routinely and highly sought after from collectors and consumers alike.

From the list below, the 1989 is drinking beautifully – at just under $200, it’s a fantastic price for a wine that’s over 30 years old. For a younger, yet equally rewarding option, the 1999 is another standout.  And for the vintages we carry from 2010 and beyond, I would recommend buying several of each and seeing how they develop over time.