One might expect the three Leoville siblings - Leoville-Poyferre, Leoville-Las Cases and Leoville-Barton - to make broadly similar wines. After all, they are neighbouring estates, all in St Julien, all classified as second growths in 1855, and all once part of the very same estate, Leoville, until debt and Napoleonic-era turbulence sundered them. But with different owners and winemakers at each, they can produce radically different wines.
Leoville-Poyferre has been in the hands of the Cuvelier family since the end of the 19th century, but this has by no means been a constant period. During the 60s and 70s, for instance, the wine far undershot its potential, and the area under cultivation decreased. But things took a very sharp turn for the better with the appointment of current incumbent Didier Cuvelier. There were some excellent vintages during the early 80s, and Cuvelier embarked on an extensive programme of modernisation. Perhaps the most significant change of all was in vineyard replantings. Hitherto, Poyferre had been dominated by Merlot, but under Cuvelier`s lead proportions flipped. now, there is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon to 25% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Unlike some second-growths, Poyferre still remains relatively reasonably priced; a wine for the oenophile, not exclusively the property of the investor. (NT 16/03/15)