The history of Léoville-Barton and Langoa is closely connected, as there is no Château Léoville-Barton, but only a vineyard – the wine of Château Léoville-Barton is made in Château Langoa Barton - yet it is Château Léoville-Barton which is a Deuxieme Grand Cru Classé. Built in 1758, Château Langoa is the archetype of the 18th century bordelais style with harmonious proportions. Hugh Barton, whose family came from Ireland in the eighteen century, bought the chateau Langoa in 1821. The Château is surrounded by a park planted mostly with oak trees and a garden combining the orderly French style with a more informal English touch. The Bartons have managed to preserve their inheritance for more than 2 centuries. From one generation to another the wines produced by the two properties have maintained the quality of their classification, offering wines at the very top of their appellation.
Châteaux Langoa and Léoville-Barton are in the very heart of the appellation of St Julien, about two kilometres south of Châteaux Latour. It is ideal for vines, due to its geographic situation and its climate; every element is present to produce wines of exceptional quality and elegance. During the harvest the grapes are brought to the cellars where they are vinified in wooden vats of about 200 hectolitres. A modern de-stemmer and the latest wine press have been introduced for the vinification. Generally fermentation lasts about five days during which the juice is pumped over twice daily. The wine is left with the skins for two weeks approximately but this depends on the quality of the crop. The wine is then drawn off and the skins are pressed, thereby obtaining the " vin de presse " which is an important component in the final blend. The malo-lactic fermentation takes place in the vats, after which the wine is aged in oak barrels for 20 months before bottling.
The wine of Château Leoville-Barton is desinged for laying down and even in worse Bordeaux years is of suitable taste with complexity and finesse. The grapes are 70% Cabernet Sauvingnong, 7% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot.
The Pocket Wine Guide by Hugh Johnson rates Château Leoville-Barton with four coloured stars (out of five and coloured is for good value in its class) and recommends vintages as follows (bold years should be ready for drinking and a particular successful vintage is marked with a '): 7882' 83 85' 86' 88' 89' 90' 93' 94' 95 96' 97 98 99 00 01 02.
Address (also for Guided
Visits to the public are
available in French and English with tasting of the last vintage, which
is free but has to be confirmed by appointment only. The opening hours
are Monday to Thursday from 8.45 am to 11 am and from 1.30 pm to 4 pm,
Friday from 8.45 am to 11 am. The château is closed on week-ends