Château-Leoville-Poyferre St. Julien 2022
|France, Bordeaux, St. Julien
I was blown away by the 2022 Château Léoville Poyferré, which is a classic blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Harvest spanned from the 8th to the 28th of September, the vinification is in tronconique tanks (parcel by parcel), and the élevage will span 18-20 months in 80% new barrels. This inky hued beauty offers that rare mix of power and elegance and offers ample cassis and assorted blue fruits, full-bodied richness, an opulent, concentrated, yet flawlessly balanced mouthfeel, velvety tannins, and plenty of classic Saint-Julien violets, espresso roast, and crushed stone-like minerality. Despite its incredible concentration and depth, it stays beautifully balanced. In a region that seems to only talk about finesse and elegance, it's a relief to still have producers such as this producing powerful, intense, singular wines. Hats off to the Cuvelier family and their team.
The 2022 Léoville Poyferré was picked 8 to 28 September at 33.4hL/ha and matured in 80% new oak. It has a high IPT of 93 and 14.4% alcohol (half a degree less than the 2018). It is quintessentially LP on the nose, with those extravagant and sensual black and blueberry fruit, intermingling with crushed violet and iris. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very harmonious and focused, perhaps more linear than expected with a velvety-smooth finish. This is a very classy, sophisticated Saint-Julien that may well rest at the top of my banded score once in bottle.
The 2022 Léoville Poyferré has turned out very nicely, offering up aromas of crème de cassis, cherries, violets and creamy new oak, followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich and fleshy palate that's ripe but lively, with supple tannins and a long, vanillin-inflected finish. This year, the team began picking their Merlot comparatively early and didn't perform a saignée (tank bleed), given the natural concentration of the vintage, though it remains the most flamboyant and demonstrative of the three Léoville estates, seeing some 80% new oak with malolactic fermentation in barrique for the new barrels. It will be a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.