Leoville Barton vertical
We were guided through this fascinating tasting by Anthony Barton’s grandson, who had kindly offered to guide us through the vintages and offered insights into his family history.
The origin of the Barton family’s involvement in wine stems from the peculiarities of the English taxation system in the 1700s. The family business had been selling sheepskins from Ireland where they had previously settled from England. But Irish products were subject to high import duties at the time. In contrast Aquitaine enjoyed a favorable trading status with England and so the business was relocated to this favorable tax jurisdiction.
However, pressure was exerted by local interests who were perhaps not keen to be party to a European tax carousel, and so the Bartons developed wine interests, first as a merchant, and in the early 19th century as a producer through the acquisitions of Langoa Barton and then part of the Leoville estate that became Leoville Barton.
We tried the vintages in three flights, beginning with 2006 and 2000, two powerful and structured vintages that demonstrate excellent potential; followed by 2007 and 1999 as examples of overlooked vintages that are well priced and offering great current drinking pleasure. We rounded up the evening with two high profile vintages, 1989 and 1990, illustrative of great, maturing vintages on their plateau of drinkability.
2006 – Pronounced pepper and graphite nose, , elegant fruit but still on its reserve. Full of future promise.
2000 – A classic pencil-shaving nose, and displaying effortless balance. Delicately poised, a fine of finesse, yet still quite elemental. Greatness around the corner.
Early drinking crowd-pleasers
2007 – Lush, velvety nose, spiced warm palate, lovely food wine.
1999 – Fresh mint nose, expressive palate of angelica, puerh tea, licorice. Lip smacking and massively satisfying.
1989 – Super-structured and painfully intense licorice. Huge length of flavor. Impressive but not entirely integrated. An adolescent - needing several more years to fully resolve.
1990 – Incredible nose of anis and macerated cherries. Lifted black cherry and hedgerow fruits, with a weight and svelte palate that reflected greatness.
A quick straw poll revealed the 1990 (perhaps unsurprisingly) as the favourite wine of the evening, narrowly trailed by 2000, with 1999 and 2006 tying for bronze.
A big thank you again to Damien for joining us, to our friends from Asset Wines who organised this event with us, and to Aurelien and Morgane for welcoming us at Pall Mall Fine Wine!
Posted in: Wine Owners,
Tags: Anthony Barton, Asset Wines, fine wine, Leoville Barton, Pall Mall Fine Wine, Wine, Wine Owners, wine tasting,