2015 Le Petit Lion de Marquis de Las Cases, St Julien

2015 Le Petit Lion de Marquis de Las Cases, St Julien

Product: 20158007948
2015 Le Petit Lion de Marquis de Las Cases, St Julien

Description

Created with the aim of providing a more fruit-forward style of wine, Le Petit Lion is the second wine of Ch. Léoville-Las Cases. The 2015 is rich and plush, but shares the dark and brooding style of the grand vin. There is good concentration here and it is quite pleasingly sweet on the palate. There is a terrific balance of fruit alongside the structure and it really is quite precise. I really love the floral aromas and hints of sweet cherry.

Blend: 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate88-90/100
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
Decanter90/100
Wine Advocate88-90/100
The 2015 Le Petit Lion is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 60% Merlot cropped at 39 hl/ha and matured in 30% new oak. It consists of younger vines from Leoville Las Cases, plus some of the old Merlot vines (which is why there is only 6% in the Grand Vin). It has quite a broody bouquet at first, though it opens up over the course of five to ten minutes, offering blackberry, bilberry, tar and graphite aromas, erring a little towards Pauillac in style. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin in the mouth, a keen thread of acidity, noticeable graphite notes again towards the finish that reinforces that Pauillac-like semblance. This is a commendable deuxime vin, one bolstered by that old Merlot vine this year.
Neal Martin - 28/04/2016 Read more
Jancis Robinson MW16.5/20
Mid crimson. Spicy, soft nose - really rather charming. Transparent and much more accessible than Las Cases. Racy. Sells for a little less than Clos du Marquis.
Drink 2023-2032
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - Apr 2016 Read more
Decanter90/100
A blend of young Cabernet and old Merlot vines produce a racy, elegant wine that’s a little lighter than its sister second wine Clos du Marquis but still very finely made.
Drink: 2019-2028
Steven Spurrier - decanter.com - April 2016
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About this WINE

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Château Léoville Las Cases is one of the largest and oldest classified growths in the Médoc. It is the largest of the 3 Léoville properties and now without doubt the leading estate in St-Julien.

Léoville Las Cases's 97 hectares of vineyards are superbly sited on gravelly-clay soils with the largest plot being surrounded by a stone wall and stretching between the village of St-Julien and Château Latour. The wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend (65%), and is matured in oak barriques (70-80% new) for 18 months.

Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most exotically perfumed wine in the Médoc and this can be partially attributed to the must being fermented at lower than average temperatures, which leads to its youthful aromatic richness being retained. On the palate it is powerful and concentrated and marvellously well-balanced.

Léoville Las Cases is a 2ème Cru Classé in name but produces 1er Cru Classé quality wines.

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St Julien

St Julien

St Julien is the smallest of the "Big Four" Médoc communes. Although, without any First Growths, St Julien is recognised to be the most consistent of the main communes, with several châteaux turning out impressive wines year after year. 

St Julien itself is much more of a village than Pauillac and almost all of the notable properties lie to its south. Its most northerly château is Ch. Léoville Las Cases (whose vineyards actually adjoin those of Latour in Pauillac) but,  further south, suitable vineyard land gives way to arable farming and livestock until the Margaux appellation is reached.  

The soil is gravelly and finer than that of Pauillac, and without the iron content which gives Pauillac its stature. The homogeneous soils in the vineyards (which extend over a relatively small area of just over 700 hectares) give the commune a unified character.

The wines can be assessed as much by texture as flavour, and there is a sleek, wholesome character to the best. Elegance, harmony and perfect balance and weight, with hints of cassis and cedar, are what epitomise classic St Julien wines. At their very best they combine Margaux’s elegance and refinement with Pauillac’s power and substance.

Ch. Léoville Las Cases produces arguably the most sought-after St Julien, and in any reassessment of the 1855 Classification it would almost certainly warrant being elevated to First Growth status.

Recommended Châteaux: Ch. Léoville Las CasesCh.Léoville Barton, Ch Léoville Poyferré, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, Ch Langoa Barton, Ch Gruaud Larose, Ch. Branaire-Ducru, Ch. Beychevelle

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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