I have no problem admitting that I am a cat person. That being said, I never thought that I would be compelled to buy a wine because of a well executed critter label. The Petit Lion on the 2009 Petit Lion Marquis de Las Cases, Saint-Julien ($59.99) was just too darn adorable to resist and I bought it and brought it home.
I can rationalize the purchase easily; Las Cases is the undeniable super 2nd of super 2nd’s and routinely beats out the 1st growths in any vintage that they don’t bring their A game. Even the 1993 Las Cases is a wine of tremendous majesty and balance- these folks have the midas touch. It is a 245 acre property at the north end of St. Julien that shares a long border with Chateau Latour to the north and surrounded on the other sides by Barton and Poyferre. A good address!
The Petit Lion Marquis de Las Cases is the 2nd wine of the property while the Clos du Marquis has been a single vineyard wine (made from a walled vineyard within the greater estate) for many years now. It is composed of about one third Cabernet Sauvignon and two thirds Merlot, with a smattering of Cabernet Franc. It sees the same expensive oak treatment and lavish care as the first wine, as the selection is made just before bottling for this and the grand vin.
Cinnamon and I don’t usually drink our claret this young, but the purity and balance of this big, powerful wine won us over. This is clean, pure, dark fruited, decadently vanilla kissed Bordeaux that had an exceptional seamless texture. We had it with a prime, bone in, dry aged rib-eye steak, potatoes and padron peppers, all done in the cast iron pan. As usual, the combination of top class beef and top class Bordeaux did not disappoint. If I had more of this big St. Julien I would wait until its 10th birthday to open it, but I am glad that cute little lion drew me in!