The 2019 Le Petit Lion blend this year is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 43% Merlot, harvested from the 20th of September to the 9th of October. The alcohol weighed in at 14.01% with a pH of 3.55 and an IPT of 75. It is aging in French oak barriques, 30% new. Managing director Pierre Graffeuille informed me that this wine is mainly a blend of the younger vines of Léoville Las Cases—three- to 20-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines—with some of the old Merlot (40-70 years) from the Las Cases enclosure. “It is a great combo to add old Merlot to young Cabernet Sauvignon!” he commented.
Sporting a deep purple-black color, scents of Black Forest cake, blueberry preserves and ripe, black plums come bounding out of the glass, shadowed by hints of menthol, potpourri, spice cake and clove oil plus a waft of aniseed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with energetic, juicy black fruits, framed by amazing freshness and ripe, grainy tannins, finishing with a lively, invigorating lift. This is very different from the grand vin and yet is a wonderful alternative expression of the vineyard. For true fans of Las Cases, I would really recommend buying both this and the grand vin, because together they create an even more interesting story of the vintage at this incredible property! – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 18, 2020
James Suckling (JS)
This is really beautiful with blackcurrants, spice, black olives and blueberries. Full-bodied with chewy tannins. It’s bright and focused. Excellent second wine from Las Cases. One of the best. – June 3, 2020
Vinous Media (VM)
The 2019 Le Petit Lion is a blend of old-vine Merlot and younger vine Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep and savory in the glass, the Petit Lion is wonderfully expressive today. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2019, as it has quite a bit of tannin lurking beneath all the rich fruit. More than anything else, it is the wine’s persistence and finish that really stands out. – Antonio Galloni. Tasting date: June 2020
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