|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc|
60% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This has the old Merlots in it as well as the young, they obviously felt that Merlot was not strong this year. Slightly creamier and richer in the middle than the Clos du Marquis, this is decent, but I was feeling I was being on the generous side with the score. Rating: 89-90 L&S (Apr 2016)
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It might not win any awards for its label design, but this young vine cuvée from Léoville-Las- Cases (with some old Merlot) is always a stylish St. Julien. Subtle oak, succulent red berry and cassis fruit and supple tannins make this a comparatively forward wine. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2016)
The second wine of Léoville-Las-Cases. The assemblage is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 60% Merlot, a normal Merlot-dominated blend, this second wine taking 20% of the crop, mainly from young vines. Fresh, lightly dusted plum character on the nose. The palate is similarly bright, quite plump, polished and full, with lots of sweet black plum and black cherry fruit. The Merlot shows here, but this still has a well-judged texture, fresh with bright acids and ripe, well-buried tannins. A very nicely composed second wine, and one of the better examples of Le Petit Lion I have tasted. This will drink well in the first 5-10 years. Rating: 15-16/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2016)
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. Drinking range: 2019 - 2028 Rating: 90 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2016)
40% young Cabernet Sauvignon, 60% old Merlot (because Las Cases does not have much Merlot). 30% new oak. 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. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032 Rating: 16.5+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2016)
The 2015 Le Petit Lion, the second wine from Léoville Las Cases is superb. Racy, opulent and inviting, the 2015 hits all the right notes. In this vintage, the blend includes all the old-vine Merlot off the property, which gives the Lion added texture, power and breadth. Those elements come through loud and clear. Crème de cassis, blackberry, spice, leather and menthol build to the cream, voluptuous finish. This is a terrific showing, not to mention one of the sleepers of the vintage and fabulous second wine from Las Cases. Rating: 90-93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2016)
Château Léoville Las Cases
St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 One of the leading "super-seconds" - a second growth chateau who's wines rival, in terms of quality and often price, the fabled First Growths of the Haut-Médoc. Before the Revolution, the Leoville estate was one of the largest and grandest in the region. At the time, it was in the aristrocratic ownership of the family of the Marquis de Las-Cases-Beauvoir. Unsurprisingly, the Marquis had to flee. To avoid Leoville being seized, the family decided to sell up but the complicated ownership of the estate, which was split between siblings, prevented the sale of Leoville as a whole and, in the end, only a small portion was sold off, to Hugh Barton, and this became Château Leoville Barton. The remainder of the estate came back to the Marquis' family when his son, Pierre-Jean, inherited most of Leoville, the only exception being a small portion inherited by his sister Jeanne. Jeanne's daughter married Baron Jean-Marie de Poyferré and, in 1840, this portion of the estate sheered off to become Château Leoville Poyferré. To stop further divisions among inheriting children, a holding company was founded to own Château Las Cases. Théophile Skawinski, who managed the estate, bought some shares which later passed to his son-in-law André Delon. The Delon family continued to buy share as they became available until, eventually, they became the owners of Château Leoville Las Cases. The bulk of Las Cases's vineyards - the Grand Clos - sit at the very northern end of St Julien, facing Château Latour across the Ruisseau de Juillac. The vines are planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The hand-picked grapes are fermented in an unusual array of wooden, stainless-steel and cement tanks. Wines spend 20 months in oak, with the proportion of new wood for the grand vin varying from 50% to 100% depending on the vintage. Château Leoville Las Cases have one of the most highly regarded "second wines" in Bordeaux - Clos du Marquis. The first vintage was in 1902, long predating most of its competitors. Its status as a true "second wine" is sometimes disputed, as there is a distinct Clos du Marquis vineyard, a little way to the west of the Grand Clos, although the cuvée does include some declassifications from the grand vin and fruit of younger vines. Its status as a "second wine" also belies the quality which exceeds many of the region's "first" wines.
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