Chateau Leoville Barton 2004
- Bordeaux,St Julien
- WE94, WA92+, WS91
- Bordeaux Blend
As so often, Leoville-Barton stands out for its style and elegance. With fresh fruit and acidity allied to generous tannins, it sums up the character of the 2004 vintage. Very classic in Bordeaux terms: not hugely powerful, but delicious. - WE94
This is an impressively endowed vin de garde that should age effortlessly for 20-30 years. How Anthony Barton continues to fashion uncompromisingly primordial Bordeaux that are always among the biggest and densest of all the St.-Juliens is beyond me, but he does it year in and year out. Moreover, when it’s time to set the price, he appears to have the consumer foremost in his mind. The 2004 is a classic Leoville-Barton meant for long aging. Concentrated, with loads of smoke, creme de cassis, forest floor, and earthy notes emerge from this impressive, but oh, so backward wine. Drink:2015~2030 - WA92+
Currant and dark chocolate, with hints of mineral. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Balanced. A more delicate and refined style. Best after 2011. - WS91
Thomas Barton had been brought up in Curraghmore, Co. Fermanagh and left his native Ireland in 1722 at the age of 27 years old.
He worked with his maternal uncles Thomas and William Dickson who had considerable trade in France. It was in this connection that Thomas was sent to France, first to Montpellier, then to Marseille. He was not therefore pre-destined to be a wine merchant but when in 1725 he went to Bordeaux with its importance as an Atlantic port, Thomas became interested in wine and soon founded his first company which was later to become Barton & Guestier.
He rapidly created a financially successful business with a regular clientele in Ireland. He was a man of great authority, firm but honest in his transactions ; by 1737 he had already made a small fortune and was well respected in Bordeaux where he became known as “French Tom”. In 1743 he introduced his son William to the business but William was a man of very different calibre to his father and their relations were never of the best.
At this time the French law known as ‘Le Droit d’Aubaine’ stipulated that estates of any foreigner dying in France would revert to the French Crown. Although Thomas had applied for French citizenship, this was not in fact granted until after his death. For this reason he never bought any vineyards in France preferring to invest his considerable profits in property in Ireland.
He did rent an attractive home in the Médoc, Château Le Boscq in Saint-Estèphe, but it was his grandson Hugh who became the first member of the family to actually own a vineyard. Thomas died in 1780 aged 85.