Dinner with the Bartons.

Dinner with the Bartons.
Lilian & Damien Barton Sartorius

Château Léoville Barton & Château Langoa Barton

Lilian Barton Sartorius visited the K Club in Kildare recently to host a dinner featuring a selection of her wines. She was accompanied by her son, Damien and his wife Sara. Lilian’s late father Anthony Barton was born in what is now the K Club, so it was a homecoming of sorts for the family. The menu consisted almost entirely of game, not a bad thing in my book, very seasonal and very well cooked by the kitchen team.

I have always been a huge fan of both the Barton wines. The twin properties of Langoa Barton and Léoville Barton, situated opposite each other in Saint-Julien, produce classic Bordeaux at a reasonable price. In many years they are every bit as good as far more expensive second growths. In contrast to many other châteaux, they have always resisted the temptation to produce over-extracted, over-alcoholic and over-oaked wines. Damien is taking over Langoa Barton, while his sister Melanie, a qualified enologist, is working at Château Mauvesin Barton, their recent acquisition in Moulis.

All of the wines below, and other vintages, should be available through specialist wine shops.

La Réserve de Léoville-Barton 2017, Saint-Julien

Served from a magnum with guinea fowl sausage and winter truffle, this was a great start to the evening. Very much in the house style with elegant blackcurrant and dark cherry fruits, some cedarwood and spice, light tannins and a dry finish. 16/20

Château Langoa-Barton 2009 Troisième Cru Classé, Saint-Julien

Served with wild squab pigeon, smoked prune purée, parsnip crisp. Beautifully perfumed with ripe opulent rounded cassis, cedar and mahogany polish. Warming, mature and very seductive. ‘Sexy’ according to Damien Barton, and I can see what he means. 16.5/20

Château Léoville Barton 2015, Deuxième cru classé, Saint-Julien

Served with loin of venison with mushrooms, parsnip purée. Classic Léoville Barton; medium-bodied with very refined ripe blackcurrant and berry fruits, dark chocolate and very elegant but firm tannins. Linear and long. Delicious now but will certainly keep. 17/20

Château Léoville Barton 2012, Deuxième Cru Classé, Saint-Julien

A lighter more elegant style and slightly austere too, with concentrated blackcurrant fruits, good fresh acidity and a sappiness on the finish. Possibly needs a few years more? 16.5/20

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