Readers should not be surprised that the 2008 Leoville Las Cases is a great classic as the selection process here is as Draconian as at any of the first-growths. Slightly more than one-third of the production made it into the grand vin, a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. Yields were just under 38 hectoliters per hectare, and the natural alcohol of 13.4% is among the highest ever measured at this estate. The harvest was very late, between October 6-18, and the result is a wine boasting extraordinarily sweet tannin as well as abundant black cherry and cassis notes intermixed with a prominent underlying minerality. Despite the massive density, concentration, and length, the wine is extremely precise, nuanced, and impeccably pure. This phenomenal effort should be more drinkable in its youth than many other vintages of Las Cases because of the ripe tannins and sweet fruit density. It will need 5-10 years of cellaring, and should last for 40+ years.
Rated 95-97+/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 94/100 The Wine Spectator
Rated 92/100 Steven Tanzer
2008 Chateau Pavie St. Emilion....$219.99
"A remarkable success in this vintage, Pavie’s 92 acre vineyard situated on the limestone soils of the spectacular south-facing Cote Pavie (one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux) was cropped at 30 hectoliters per hectare. A blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, with an atypical (for a 2008) alcohol level of 14.5% that is higher than in its 2010 counterpart, the opaque purple-colored 2008 exhibits sweet, smoky barbecue notes intermixed with creme de cassis, black cherry, toast and crushed chalk. Deep, intense and full-bodied with surprisingly civilized tannins for such a young Pavie, it reveals wonderful breadth of flavor, a savory texture and a layered mouthfeel. It should drink beautifully in 2-4 years and keep for 25 or more."
Rated 95/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 93/100 The Wine Spectator
Rated 92/100 Steven Tanzer
2008 Chateau Pavie Decesse St. Emilion....$179.99
Another top-notch effort, the 2008 is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc produced from yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare. It reached 14% natural alcohol, no doubt because of the extremely late harvest. A deep purple color is accompanied by massive notes of blackberries, incense, fruitcake, camphor and toasty oak intermixed with a crushed chalk-like minerality (a hallmark of this vineyard). The wine has softened considerably in bottle, and while it seems more structured than the 2010, it reveals a degree of accessibility. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035.