Stepping Out of Washington: 2000 Leoville-Las Cases


I recently had the opportunity to try a legendary wine: The 2000 Leoville-Las Cases. I try to be something of an iconoclast when it comes to top-notch, extremely expensive wines, but I was impressed with this wine. It was handed to me blind, and even at 10 years old, it retained the purple hue of a young wine. It was wonderfully concentrated and beautiful, showing graphite, black currants, herbs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera… The length was great, the tannin structure was phenomenal. There’s obviously a lot of time left for this wine; if you’re lucky enough to have any you don’t need to worry about drinking it.

To only brag a little, when I was asked to peg it blind (having not been given region, grapes, no info whatsoever) I said that I thought it was 2005 Pauillac. I feel pretty good about that for two reasons: One, Leoville-Las Cases is right on the border of Pauillac, and two, it was drinking like an extremely young wine. I’m amazed that it hadn’t evolved further.

Finding it online for $350, I don’t think that I’ll be running out and buying any, but it was a beautiful experience. I can’t ever justify spending that kind of money on any one bottle of wine, even one as amazing as this one. I’ve had so many wonderful wines for $30-$50 that I think I’ll keep my purchases in that range. I’m always happy to drink them on someone else’s dime, though.

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