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 2017 Le Petit Lion is a very serious second wine with real potential to surprise somewhere down the line. Creamy, silky and beautifully expressive, but with plenty of supporting structure, the Petit Lion is terrific. The blend this year includes a tank of old-vine Merlot that at times has gone into the Grand Vin. This potent, structured Petit Lion captures the essence of the chateau nicely. Tasted two times."
89-92 points, Antonio Galloni
"Deep garnet-purple coloured, the 2017 Le Petit Lion is quite earthy with notions of black soil, tar and truffles over a core of blackcurrants and plums. Medium-bodied, firm and fresh, it has just enough fruit and an earthy finish.
Thanks to its proximity to the estuary, Léoville Las Cases was spared from frost damage in 2017. There was only a small amount of frost on the western edge of the Clos du Marquis vineyard, which was until 2007 a second wine, but now comes from its own dedicated vineyard to the west of Léoville Las Cases, but of course still in Saint-Julien. All the final blends were made in December and the wines were in barrel before Christmas."
83-85 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
"Las Cases young vines, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), and some old Merlot (34%) plus 14% Cabernet Franc. 30% new oak. Parcel selection. pH 3.67, IPT 62.
Deep black cherry colour. Inviting dusty/mineral character. Smells refined and fragrant without being pretty. Seems less concentrated than the Clos du Marquis and more silky in texture. Less intensity on the mid-palate but long, juicy and fresh. 13.26% Drink 2024-2032"
16.5 points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
"The 2017 Le Petit Lion comes from the youngest vines on the terroir and some old Merlot vines since they never have more than 15% in the final blend. It is matured in 30% new oak. This felt very backward on the nose, a little herbaceous compared to previous vintages, touches of pencil shaving and cedar accompanying the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, a nicely proportioned Le Petit Lion, that Merlot fleshing out the tender and quite persistent, slightly chalky finish. Perhaps the palate is offering more than the aromatics at the moment? This will be intriguing to taste once bottled."
86-88 points, Neal Martin
"The blackberry and blueberry character is very pretty here with orange and lemon undertones. Medium to full body, integrated tannins and a juicy finish."
92-93 points, James Suckling
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.