La réserve de Ch. Léoville Barton, 2004

My friend Mike brought round this bottle of fine 2004 claret last night which we definitely enjoyed with our dinner of roast lamb. Great to enjoy a bottle from Chåteau Léoville Barton again. The classic, 2ième Grand Cru, vintage was one of my Father’s favourites. We visited the vineyard in the Sixties, I remember flying kites with my Father in a stiff breeze over the Garonne estuary near the village of St. Julien. I guess he had been negotiating an order for Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Our bottle tonight was the reserve of 2004. The typography of the label suggests a progressive approach, indeed the reserve has a higher content of Merlot and is more commercial than the Grand Cru.
The cork was stiff to pull then came out clean. The wine was at the top of its game, a clear character, full bodied and rounded, with the fine bouquet and the sensuous after-taste you only get from a well-aged twenty year old claret. It complemented perfectly the rolled joint of shoulder of Cumbrian lamb which I roasted for us in rosemary, followed by a selection of fine Northern English cheeses.