Wine: Best Wines: Château Léoville-Poyferré


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Château Léoville-Poyferré (St. Julien) - Deuxieme Grand Cru Classé

Château Léoville-Poyferré is situated in Saint-Julien, a village in the commune of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle on the Médoc peninsula. At the time of the French Revolution, Léoville was the largest wine estate in the Médoc. Following two successive divisions of the estate, three separate properties were created. In 1826, Hugh Barton purchased a part which he named Leoville Barton. In 1840, the remainder of the estate was divided into two: this was the birth of Leoville Poyferre. The third part became Leoville Las Cases. When the famous classification of 1855 was drawn up, the three Léoville estates were attributed the title of Second Growth. In 1920, the Cuvelier family, wine merchants from the department of Nord in France, purchased the château from the Lalande Lawton family. Since 1979, Didier Cuvilier has managed the estate.

The terroir of Saint-Julien possesses ideal climatic and geographical conditions for cultivating vines and producing fine wines. The soil is composed of glacial gravels resting on a limestone plateau which has been greatly broken up due to the action of the Garrone fault line. This configuration absorbs the rain, rapidly draining it into the ground water. The absence of water during the maturation of the grapes is the determining factor for the quality of a vintage. The typicity of the wines of Léoville Poyferré derives from the composition of the soil: gravels from Mindel I and Mindel II on the summits and slopes, and various alluvial soils in the hollows. Four grape varieties are planted on 80 hectares of vineyards: 2% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 26% Merlot and 64% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Since the division in 1840, the château itself has been divided into two, and the Honor Court has been under joint ownership. This situation is unique among the cru classé of the Médoc. The Routes des Châteaux, the Médoc wine road, separates the buildings as well. The vatrooms are located on the château side of the road. The 35 temperature-controlled vats range from 145 to 222 hl. A total capacity of 7,000 hl enables the vinification of the estate’s 80 hectares. . The offices, barrel cellars, bottling line, storage and tasting room are all located on the other side of the Routes des Châteaux. The wine is matured 18 - 20 months in barrels, with 80% new oak every year

The Pocket Wine Guide by Hugh Johnson rates Château Léoville Poyferé with three 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 '): 
82' 83' 85 86' 88 89' 90' 94 95 96 98 99 00 01 02. 

Address (also for Guided Tours):
Le Château Léoville Poyferré
Le Bourg
33250 Saint-Julien-Beychevelle
Tel.: +33-5-5659 0830
Fax: +33-5-5659 6009
e-mail: lp@leoville-poyferre.fr
website: www.leoville-poyferre.fr

Visits by appointment only.

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