An upgrade from The Wine Advocate
It was on May 1, 2011, that Robert Parker first weighed in on the 2010 Léoville Poyferré. In Issue #194 of The Wine Advocate, Parker wrote: “This seamlessly constructed St.-Julien possesses massive concentration, moderately high tannins, abundant glycerin, an unctuous texture, remarkably fresh acids and wonderful precision. 95-98 points.”
Before he stopped attending the Bordeaux en primeur tastings, Parker’s early ratings would make or break a château’s futures pricing. With “only” 95-98 points, the release price for the 2010 Léoville Poyferré was relatively modest. Even so, many collectors opted to pass it by, instead feasting on wines landing on Parker’s 98- to 100-point summit. That’s why a sizable chunk of the production of the Cuvelier family’s 2010 was left to age in the château’s dimly lit cellars in St.-Julien — which is where it sat when we secured our small allocation.
Two years later, the critic who many in Bordeaux have come to call “The King” returned to Léoville Poyferré. In one of the more stunning turnabouts of the vintage, Parker all but admitted that he’d made a mistake!
In 2013, Parker again reviewed the blockbuster 2010 Léoville Poyferré, describing a “full-bodied, legendary effort (that) is long and opulent, with wonderfully abundant yet sweet tannin, a skyscraper-like mid-palate and a thrilling, nearly one-minute finish. 98+ points.”
The Wine Advocate’s upgrade not only placed Léoville Poyferré ahead of neighboring Léoville Las Cases (96+ points/$450), but just in front of the First Growth Pauillac Lafite Rothschild (98/$770)!
The 2010 Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint Julien was a very good wine, but at this price point I was hoping it would be exceptional. Perhaps it needs another 10-12 years to fully mature, so my bad for drinking it too soon. Clearly, a wine that does not stand up to some of California's superb Cabs, but then I really did not expect that it would.
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