Review Score 95Wine Advocate 93Wine Advocate 92James Suckling 91
Bordeaux

2012 Léoville Barton

6 x 750ml
As with most of these St Juliens, the colour is medium intensity ruby with lovely reflective pools. Sweet notes of smoked caramel, graphite and campfire stealing in along blackberry and cassis fruits. Overall the fruit register is dark, with tannins that are perfectly integrated but still present, confident and holding the fruit in place. The same sappy saline minerality that I found in the Gruaud Larose, not generous but enticing. 60% new oak, 32hm/h yield. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
95 POINTS
Jane Anson - New Bordeaux

As with most of these St Juliens, the colour is medium intensity ruby with lovely reflective pools. Sweet notes of smoked caramel, graphite and campfire stealing in along blackberry and cassis fruits. Overall the fruit register is dark, with tannins that are perfectly integrated but still present, confident and holding the fruit in place. The same sappy saline minerality that I found in the Gruaud Larose, not generous but enticing. 60% new oak, 32hm/h yield.

Expert Review
93 POINTS
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate

The Grand Vin is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc picked between 3 and 15 October at 32hl/ha. It is more introspective than the Langoa at this early stage, but perhaps more complex with subtle tertiary and pencil lead scents infusing the black fruit profile. The palate is superbly balanced with fine tannins, delineated black and red fruit infused with graphite borrowed north from Pauillac. It exudes focus and precision and should be one of the finest Saint Julien 2012s. Tasted April 2013.

Expert Review
92 POINTS
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate

Dense ruby/purple, with cassis licorice and forest floors notes in the aromatics, Léoville-Barton’s 2012 is a relatively big, rich, masculine style of wine. This full-bodied wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring and should evolve easily for 25-30 years. Drink: 2023 - 2053

Expert Review
91 POINTS
James Suckling

Floral and fruity red with hints of vanilla. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a crisp finish. Loosely knit. This needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2018.

Expert Review
91 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

The 2012 Leoville-Barton is laced with dark red and blue-fleshed stone fruits, spices, sweet spice, mint and licorice. This is a decidedly understated, forward Leoville-Barton that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The classic Leoville-Barton signatures aren't fully developed. Perhaps I caught the 2012 in an awkward stage, but today the wine is quite introspective and gives the impression of not being fully formed.

Expert Review
Wine Spectator

Features a chewy edge, with anise, blackberry and black currant fruit notes held together by an ample dose of roasted apple wood. A chewy feel holds the finish, with plum skin and singed wood details lingering. This feels like it may have dried out just a bit since the barrel tasting. Best from 2016 through 2022. 12,500 cases made.

Expert Review
Julia Harding MW - JancisRobinson.com

More delicate and reserved on the nose than the Langoa. More fragrant and a touch leafier but still with sweet dark fruit. Delicious on the palate – has everything: freshness of fruit and acidity, tannins that are ripe and firm but in the background and a long juicy finish. Score: 17.5/20

Expert Review
Jancis Robinson MW

Tasted blind. Sappy. Aromatic, even a bit racy on the nose! Very clever winemaking almost disguises the lack of ripe fruit. Solid, spicy, something to chew on. A wine with some potential and well-managed tannins. Score: 17/20

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

Tannic and Austere this wine is perfect for extended cellaring and will gain greater depth over the years.

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Winemakers Note

The Barton dynasty, a fascinating story

What makes the history of the Barton family so fascinating is how each generation has left its mark and added its stone to this exceptional heritage. Settled in Bordeaux since 1722, the Barton family is one of the only families left in the Médoc that is still at the head of its properties since the 1855 classification.

Lilian Barton-Sartorius, the worthy successor of her father, Anthony Barton, now manages the three estates: Château Léoville Barton (2nd Grand Cru Classé in Saint-Julien), Langoa Barton (3ème Grand Cru Classé in Saint-Julien) and Mauvesin Barton (Moulis en Médoc). Her children, Mélanie and Damien, representing the 10th generation, are involved in the development of the family properties, thus keeping this remarkable legacy alive. 

Léoville Barton, the magic of Saint-Julien combined to the elegance of Barton

The Barton family's passion for wine is reflected in the elegance and consistency of Château Léoville Barton, 2nd Grand Cru Classé in 1855. Its 50-hectare vineyard is located on one of the most beautiful gravelly slopes in the Garonne region, facing the Gironde River, in the heart of the Saint Julien appellation in the Médoc. This precious and unique heritage transcends one grape variety, the Cabernet-Sauvignon, and gives the wine a signature like no other.

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