With one of the longest and most pedigreed histories in the Medoc region, Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases has passed through the hands of some of France’s most notable and wealthiest noble families, culminating in the Las Cases family - the final royal family to hold title to the Chateau. Up until the French Revolution, after which large portions of it were sold off, it was one of the largest vineyards in Bordeaux.
Today, the estate remains family owned by the Delons, of which brother Jean Hubert and sister Genevieve manage proceedings. Their second wine, Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases, is a relative newcomer, only having been released for the first time in 2009. The 2016 vintage has been praised for its traditional style and “light, nimble” palate.
"The 2016 Le Petit Lion comes from the young vines in Léoville Las-Cases. It has great clarity on a nose of bright black fruit infused with pencil shavings; I appreciate the focus here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, slightly candied red fruit laced with Chinese five-spice and sandalwood, gently fanning out toward a focused finish with ample grip. Very fine. 2021-2033"
90 Points, Vinous
"Makes a classic impression from the outset with ripe but contained, red and dark-berry aromas, framed in cedar, blackcurrants and violets. The palate has exceptional depth and very focused, pristine red-plum and cherry flavors hold long and seamless into the finish. A vibrant young wine. Younger cabernet (54 per cent) meets old merlot (38 per cent) and cabernet franc (eight per cent) in this blend. Second wine of Leoville Las Cases. Try from 2023."
96 Points, JamesSuckling.com
The second wine of Léoville Las Cases, the 2016 Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases includes more old vine Merlot and is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc that spent 14 months in 30% new French oak. It’s a “Wow” of a second wine and has a big nose of crème de cassis, black cherries, forest floor, and tobacco, with some almost Pauillac-like lead pencil and minerality. Full-bodied, with bright acidity and remarkable purity as well as ripe tannins, it’s a 30-year wine. How’s that for a second wine?
94 points, jebdunnuck.com (February 2019)
The 2016 Le Petit Lion is composed of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with notions of warm blackcurrants, blackberry pie, redcurrant jelly and tilled soil with touches of hoisin, Sichuan pepper, unsmoked cigars, red roses and smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with vibrant red and black fruit preserves, with a wonderfully fine-grained frame and very long, lifted finish.
92 points, Wine Advocate (December 2018)
The 2016 Le Petit Lion is a very pretty wine, but it is also going to need a few years to come into its own, as the tannins are quite firm post-bottling. There is good energy to the red cherry fruit, spice and chalky notes, but, at the same time, Le Petit Lion is a rare second wine that is going to need a few years to come into its own. Tasted two times.
92 points, Vinous (January 2019)
Small but mighty, the appellation of St.-Julien, on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has long enjoyed a reputation for exceptional quality and consistency. Compared to its neighbours in Bordeaux, St.-Julien produces the highest proportion of classified-growth wines, with more than three-quarters of the vineyards devoted to top-ranked producers. They include several “Super Second” chateaux and many other outstanding classified growths and Cru Bourgeois. Saint-Julien wines are beautifully balanced, with a great richness, depth of colour, and elegance. Cabernet Sauvignon prevails, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used for blending in the classic Bordeaux style.