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2024 - 2042
Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2020 Le Petit Lion (the second wine of Léoville Las Cases, mainly from younger vines) is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 44% Merlot, aging in 30% new French oak barriques, weighing in with an alcohol of 13.61%, a pH of 3.69 and an IPT (tannins index) of 75. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 17th to the 29th of September, the Merlot from the 10th to the 15th of September and the Cabernet Franc from the 15th to the 17th of September. Sporting a medium to deep purple-black color, it springs from the glass with vibrant notes of black cherries, redcurrant jelly and cassis, plus touches of lavender, fallen leaves and cinnamon stick, with a waft of black truffles. The medium-bodied palate has bright, bold black and red berry layers with a grainy texture and loads of freshness, finishing long with a spicy kick. A very impressive second wine!
The 2020 Le Petit Lion was picked September 10–29 and matured in 30% new oak. It has a straightforward bouquet of scents of raspberry, cranberry and touches of pomegranate, all intermixed with loamy aromas and undergrowth. But it is certainly fruit-forward, as you would expect. The palate is framed by lithe tannins, judiciously peppered red berry fruit and a harmonious, caressing finish. This will offer great pleasure in its youth but will probably age for longer than most will allow.
(50% CS, 44% M, 6% CF; 13.6% ABV; 30% new)
Gentle, restrained, cedary and floral from the Merlot; beautifully balanced medium-full wine, fresh in acidity, very fine in tannin, long and graceful, sweet-cored yet fresh, gently complex, all restraint and class and elegance, with a lovely roundness and a fresh finish that is classically Médoc “dry” and gravelly; clearly a bit more scope and definition to this than to the Clos du Marquis. Splendid Petit Lion, particularly seductive this year because of its high Merlot content, one of the classiest ever. Beautiful, relatively affordable Bordeaux. 2028–40+.
This is very deep and rich with ripe tannins that take your down and through the palate. Full and layered. This is really plush and intense. Could be the best ever for the second wine. Goes deep.
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Young-vine Cabernet and old (40–80 years) Merlot. Cask sample.
Dense and reserved with the meaty edge of the Merlot most prominent. Juicy and quite broad across the palate, the tannic frame a little more robust than that of the grand vin but refined all the same. (JL)50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. Young-vine Cabernet and old (40–80 years) Merlot. Cask sample.
Dense and reserved with the meaty edge of the Merlot most prominent. Juicy and quite broad across the palate, the tannic frame a little more robust than that of the grand vin but refined all the same. (JL)
The second wine of this great estate, the 2020 Le Petit Lion checks in as 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc. It has the class of the Grand Vin yet is made in a slightly softer, more forward style and offers lots of black cherry and dark currants fruits as well as notes of lead pencil, dried tobacco, and loamy earth. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it's balanced, has ripe tannins, the hallmark purity of fruit of the vintage, and a great finish. I’d be thrilled to drink a bottle any time over the coming 10-15 years or more.