93-95pts Wine Advocate
A terrific success, the 2021 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of blackcurrant, wild berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it's concentrated and tensile, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and all the class that an elevated percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon growing in deep gravel can provide. It's the first vintage vinified in the Barton family's new winery, and I suspect that contributes to the ultra-refined quality of tannin this year. The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times.
The 2021 Léoville-Barton was picked from 27 September until 7 October, matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol is 13.12%. It has a clean and pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and hints of shucked oyster shell: focused and very well delineated, classic in style. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry, very well-knit with beautifully integrated oak. Crisp acidity with the perfect amount of tension on the classically-styled finish, this Léoville Barton demonstrates the advantages of their brand new cellar (even though the reception was not finished in time!) I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar.
Heady on the nose, perfumed and scented. The palate is alive and playful, delivering high acidity but also focused fruit so it's both lightly framed and fun, but also savoury and serious. Smooth and silky tannins give the gentle frame, letting the strawberry, creamy raspberry and red cherry fruit do the talking. It's unfussy, all the elements to the fore but all well balanced with a charming texture overall and persistence of high-toned red berry fruits with saline sides. Hints of green pepper, black pepper, slate and pencil lead on the finish. I like this a lot!
93-94pts James Suckling
A medium-bodied red with redcurrant, crushed-stone and earth character, following through to fine tannins and a polished finish. Balanced.
92-94pts Jeb Dunnuck
I continue to love Château Léoville Barton, and their 2021 doesn't disappoint. (If anything, the fresher style favored here played nicely with the vintage character.) Lots of cassis and darker currants as well as crushed stone, graphite, and floral notes emerge on the nose, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, pure, elegant tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's not going to match the all-time greats here, but it's a seriously good wine in the vintage and I'd be happy with bottles in the cellar.