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In 1979 with the accession of Didier Cuvelier, who became the first member of his family to take charge of Leoville Poyferre. Didier Cuvelier first trained and went to school to study accounting before he started to learn about wine. His teacher was Professor Emile Peynaud. This was a fortuitous move for the property as the wines made by Didier Cuvelier once again put Leoville Poyferre on the map to wine lovers all over the world. Some of the first changes made by the young 26 year old Didier Cuvelier include bringing Michel Rolland as well as Emile Peynaud into the fold. This was quickly followed by a modernization of the winemaking facilities at their Left Bank estate. The positive changes in the wine from Leoville Poyferre can easily be seen by tasting the wine. The rapid jump in quality first appeared in 1982. However, Didier Cuvelier was not the first person to introduce innovation at Leoville Poyferre. In fact, Chateau Leoville Poyferre was one of the first Bordeaux chateau to trellis their vines using pine stakes. This is common today, but not two centuries ago. Leoville Poyferre was also one of the first Bordeaux produces to rinse their barrels with sulfur to help protect their wines from spoiling during the shipping and aging process.
Saint Julien, Bordeaux
Country of Origin:
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc
2000 Vintage (Robert Parker's rating: 97 points):
The plushest, most ostentatious and dramatic of all the Leovilles in 2000, this wine is already sumptuous, displaying some nuances in its huge nose of vanilla bean, black chocolate, jammy black cherries, cassis, and graphite in a flamboyant style. Opulent, savory, rich, and full-bodied, it is a head-turning, prodigious wine and a complete contrast to the extracted behemoth of Leoville Barton and the backward, classic Leoville Las Cases. The Poyferre’s low acidity, sweet tannin and an already gorgeous mouthfeel make it a wine to drink now as well as over the next 25 or more years.
2008 Vintage (Robert Parker's rating: 94 points):
One of the finest over-achieving efforts in this vintage as well as a “best buy” for a top-flight St.-Julien, this 2008 is an irresistible success. It reveals an opaque ruby/purple color, lots of unctuosity and a boatload of sweet cassis and black cherry fruit intertwined with notions of licorice, smoke and oak. Full-bodied, remarkably concentrated and stunningly pure and textured, this sensational wine is already drinking well, and will be even better with 2-3 years of cellaring. It should last for 20-25 years. Bravo!
2013 Vintage (Robert Parker's rating: 91 points):
The 2013 Léoville-Poyferre has a lovely nose with simple blackcurrant and wild strawberry fruit, maintaining Didier Cuvelier's more opulent style while retaining delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with gently grippy tannin, good acidity and structure, not complex but with a very impressive blackberry and cassis finish that lingers in the mouth. Chapeau Monsieur Cuvelier - one of the best Saint Juliens this vintage.
2014 Vintage (Robert Parker's rating: 93+ points):
The 2014 Leoville-Poyferre was surprisingly backward and tight on the nose (usually it is the most expressive and generous Léoville in its youth). The precision and focus is intact, but it is broody and sultry at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with firm structure, which suggests that it has turned volte face since its opulent showing in barrel.