Jean Leon Vinya Le Havre Reserva, Penedes

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Jean Leon Vinya Le Havre Reserva is a single vineyard, organic red wine from the Penedes wine-growing region of Spain. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and small percentage of Cabernet Franc sourced from Leon’s exceptional 16-hectare vineyard that shares the same name of the French port of Le Havre, where Jean Leon stowed away on a ship bound for the US.

Jean Leon was born in Santander, moved with his family to Barcelona, and eventually manage to stow away on a ship bound from Le Havre in France to New York. After driving a cab and working as a busboy and waiter he eventually ended up in Hollywood working at the Villa Capri, a tinseltown restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Soon he was rubbing shoulders with the good, the bad, politicians and movie stars and on April 1st 1956 he opened La Scala, a very famous Hollywood restaurant, which he co-owned with James Dean. Jean Leon became very interested in wine, indeed La Scala had an underground cellar with some 25,000 bottles in, and soon ended up in his home country of Spain looking to make a signature Jean Leon wine. He bought vineyards in 1962 and completed building a winery in 1963. Leon was a real pioneer in the Spanish wine industry, he immediately grubbed up all the local vines and replanted with single vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay – in fact, he is credited with being the first to release a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% Chardonnay in Spain. The Torres family took control of Jean Leon wines in 1994 but the estate continues to be run as a separate entity from rest of their wines and remains true to Leon’s vision. Today the estate consists of some 63 hectares of vineyards in Penedes at an elevation of 600m. 

The Le Havre vineyard is a single vineyard lot comprising of 16 hectares of old vines planted on calcareous clay soils. The grapes are harvested by hand and undergo a period of 15 days of skin contact followed by a temperature controlled alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel for 13 days. The wine is then allowed to undergo malolactice fermentation followed by a period of 12 months maturation in French and American oak and a minimum of 2 years in bottle prior to release. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

Wines produced at the Jean Leon estate are certified organic beginning with the 2012 vintage. This wine is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Tasting Notes

Jean Leon Vinya Le Havre Reserva  is a deep cherry red with medium-high opacity. On the nose there are notes of ripe red fruit, pepper, as well as toast and spices from
its ageing in the barrel. The palate has a lively attack; it is medium to full-bodied with a high concentration of soft tannins, giving it a corpulent, oily but elegant palate. Long and persistent finish.

Food Pairing

Try with venison or wild boar dishes.


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