Château Leoville Poyferre underachieved for most of the 20th century. One of three Château that made up the original Leoville estate, this second growth was wallowing in the doldrums of mediocrity while its siblings, Château Leoville-Las Cases and Château Leoville-Barton were producing wines of near First Growth quality. In 1979, however, Didier Cuvelie took the helm of the family business and began its renaissance. An accountant by trade, Cuvelie wasn't afraid to ask for help in the early going; Professor Emile Peynaud and star consultant Michel Rolland pointed him in the right direction.
Following their advice, Cuvelie replanted the 80 hectare vineyard -- once strong on Merlot -- to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The shift towards a Cabernet dominated, traditional St. Julien produced a string of impressive vintages in the '80s and further encouraged investment and renovation. Today we can safely say that Château Leoville Poyferre is running on all cylinders. The wines are broader and more supple than ever, aromatically complex, and structured. Production of the Grand Vin is 20,000 cases per year plus 17,000 of the second wine, Moulin Riche.