Leoville Las Cases and Leoville Poyferre used to be a single vineyard, but many years ago were split into two (three, actually, but Leoville Barton got a small piece). Of these two, for most of their existence, Leoville Las Cases was the undisputed winner in terms of both quality and consistency. That consistency and quality has not changed at Las Cases, but things have improved at Leoville Poyferre. Having said that, there is little doubt that among the second growths, Leoville Las Cases stands tall, if not tallest. Leoville Las Cases produces a structured style of Bordeaux wine. In the top vintages, Leoville Las Cases can take 15 to 20 or more years to develop and shed its tannic structure. Las Cases will then display cedar, cassis, dark berries, truffle and tobacco notes in a style that often resembles a First Growth Pauillac.
96 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This combines considerable power and concentration with rich, impressive fruits. It has both style and elegance, with density to give it great aging potential. The tannins are firm while also having a velvet texture. The wine, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, is for serious aging. Drink from 2025. Cellar Selection.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Standing out for its sheer purity and class, the 2012 Leoville-Las Cases is about as seamless as they come, with medium to full-bodied richness, fabulous notes of crème de cassis, cedary spice, plums, spice and wood smoke, with its oak component pushed well into the background. While not a blockbuster, it is impeccably balanced, with a full, layered mid-palate, building tannin and a rock-solid finish. Give this straight up classy 2012 4-5 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles over the following two decades or more.
94 Points - Wine Spectator
This is among the tightest wines at this early stage, with a wall of smoldering charcoal holding the core of dark plum, blackberry paste and cassis in reserve. The sleek finish shows admirable length and a mouthwatering echo of iron. This harnesses the austerity of the vintage to its advantage, and should unwind slowly in the cellar.
93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The bigger sister or brother of Le Petit Lion, depending on your point of view, the 2012 Leoville Las Cases has gorgeous minerality, plenty of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit that is super-pure, an opaque ruby/purple color, medium body and firm structured, slightly austere personality. This wine is built for the long-term. A blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, it attained 13.5% alcohol, which is substantial for a 2012 Médoc. It has depth and richness, but also a boatload of tannin. Forget it for 8-10 years and drink over the following 15-20.