Château Léoville Barton was first established in 1727 by an Irish immigrant to France named Thomas Barton.
Thomas, having been sent to France in 1721 at the age of 27 by two of his uncles to help run the family business that had already forged strong links in Montpellier and Marseille.
However, when arriving at the French port city of Bordeaux in 1727, Thomas forged an interest in wine (drinking it of course!), which then led to him creating the family wine merchant business.
The business flourished into a multi-million dollar empire (imagine that in the 1700's) throughout the rest of the 18th century, despite the problems caused by the French Revolution between 1789 - 1799.
In 1821, Thomas's grandson, Hugh Barton, purchased Château Langoa in 1821 and in 1826 a plot from the Léoville domaine, which he subsequently renamed Léoville Barton. This plot remains until this day and lies within the iconic terroir of Saint Julien in the Médoc.
This estate was classified as a 2nd Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 Classification programme initiated by Emperor Napoleon III with the aim of presenting the wines of the Gironde at the Universal Exhibition of Paris. Its mission was to devise an official classification based on many years of experience and according to the quality of the Terroir and the reputation of each Château.
The Barton family's passion for wine is reflected in the elegance and consistency of Château Léoville Barton from its inception in 1826 until now.
One of its more legendary vintages was 1990 - And this is the vintage we currently are stocking in very limited numbers at Blend Bistro & Wine Bar.
The renowned Robert Parker from Wine Advocate has variously scored the 1990 vintage at between 92 and 94 on four separate occasions he has reviewed the wine since 1997.
His comments include:
"The exceptionally concentrated 1990 reveals more polished, sweeter tannins along with a big, sweet kiss of blackcurrant, forest floor, cedar, and spice box notes. While it still has some tannins to shed, this full-bodied, powerful, long wine is approachable. It should continue to evolve for another two decades."
"The 1990 is dense, tannic, muscular, and virile. The nose offers up aromas of earth, spicy fruit, and wood. The wine is full-bodied, powerful and loaded. I believe the 1990 to be an exceptional Léoville-Barton, certainly the best wine made after the 1982, and superior to both the delicious 1985 and tannic 1986. However, as a minimum it needs another 7-10 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2014 - 2025."
Given that we are now nearing the end on 2018, it seems now is the perfect time to enjoy this glorious monster of a wine from Bordeaux!