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Much has already been written about the three Léoville Châteaux, also by me in Barton 1997"Getrunken". Actually, (almost) everything has been said. Also from the guild of wine critics, who regularly crown the winery with many points. Parker from 1997 until today: 86, 91, 88, 95, 92, 92, 96, 92+, 94?, 91+, 89+, 92, 93+, 96, 88+, 90-92, 90-92 out of a hundred points. A proud record, but it also generally reflects the level of the respective vintage. Quite clearly, the 1997 vintage - the one we are talking about here - was the weakest, the already legendary "century vintages" (2009 and 2010) the best - though not advancing into the realms of 100 points, which were generously awarded in these two years. Well, Pétrus is on the other side of the Gironde (Pomerol) and is almost a pure Merlot wine. Léoville Barton, on the other hand, is Cabernet-Sauvignon dominated (about 70%), with only 20% Merlot and some Cabernet-Franc. Due to the weather situation (Merlot ripens relatively early, Cabernet late), there can be considerable differences in the wines (right bank-left bank). But I am interested: is this '97 Barton really that much worse than other vintages? I don't get involved in an expert debate any more anyway; actually, I only trust my own feelings. Yes, I should have drunk it long ago, like all Bordeaux 1997s. Parker says "old!" not "mature". What can I still do with this "old" Château Barton? Quite a lot! A great deal, in fact file_256It is dense, expressive, smooth, harmonious, has sweetness and a good bit of freshness. The wine magazine Vinaria gave it 17.5/20 points in 2007 ("Ten years on it") and wrote: "...bursting with power, in the context of the vintage a Schwarzenegger, very individual, but still great..." I can agree with this and confirm: seven years later - my well stored and kept Léoville Barton has saved the honour. Because of its good bottle ageing? I rather mean: because of the dubiousness of (almost) any kind of vintage generalisation in the Bordelais.

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