Moderately saturated red-ruby. Captivating if cooler nose of blackcurrant, licorice and minerals. Very intensely flavored and gripping if currently quite tight. The black fruit and menthol flavors show an almost medicinal austerity and uncanny penetration on the palate. Very ripe for 2002, at 13.5%, with a pH of 3.85. Today, I find a more classically firm finish and a bit more personality than in the young 2004, but then the new vintage has a long way to go before it's in bottle.
Robert Parker 95
Only 43% of the production made it into the final blend of this remarkable 2002. Produced from a low 17 hectoliters per hectare, it includes 66.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 13.9% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It has the highest alcohol ever achieved in a Leoville Las Cases (13.5%) as well as a lofty pH of 3.85. Nevertheless, the impression is one of a structured wine with considerable density, a ruby/purple color, layers of flavor, and a classic overall personality. The wine exhibits pure black currant, licorice-infused fruit, huge body, a viscous mid-palate, and a long, heady finish. I suspect this wine won’t be nearly as charming as the 2003 in its youth, but it hasn’t yet closed down, and I am amazed at just how rich, intense, and full-bodied it tastes even after bottling. This is certainly one of the half dozen or so candidates for wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030+.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030