Château Léoville Barton
Classification: Second Growth (2ème Cru Classé)
Château Léoville Barton is the third (and smallest) piece of the famous trio of Saint Julien properties that 200 years ago formed one estate: Château Léoville. It has been in the hands of the Barton family since 1826 who also own Château Langoa Barton. There is no actual Château at Léoville Barton and the wine from the vineyards there is made and bottled at Langoa Barton. The Barton's are of Irish descent and settled in Bordeaux in 1722. Hugh Barton was a founder of the negotiant Barton & Guestier in 1725 and it still bears his name to this day. At over 180 years this is the longest period of single-family ownership of any property in Bordeaux.
Today Anthony Barton continues to maintain the high quality of the wines whilst keeping his principle of releasing them at a reasonable price. Interest in these wines has soared since the 1980s and this reflects the wines dramatic improvement and consistently high ratings.
Château Léoville Barton's vineyards are located in the east of the Saint Julien appellation, lying close to the Gironde, sandwiched between the water and the huge expanse of vineyards belonging to Château Talbot. The vines grow on gravelly-clay soils and span 106 acres - there are a significant number of old vines which influence the quality for the better.
The grapes grown are 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot. This planting mix has evolved over the years since Anthony Barton took over the management of the Château. The percentage of Merlot has increased from about 15% in the 1970s and Cabernet Franc has disappeared.
Château Léoville Barton is a tannic wine and appears austere in youth due to the high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. However time develops the classic cedary character that is the hallmark of St. Julien, along with intensely pure blackcurrant and cassis fruit notes. Léoville Barton's wines are at their best with 10-15 years of bottle ageing.
Owner: Liliane and Anthony Barton (also own Château Langoa Barton)
Château Website: www.leoville-barton.com
Oenologist: Jacques Boissenot