The 2018 Le Petit Mouton is blended of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, harvested September 10 to October 3. It represents about 26% of the total crop and has 14% alcohol—the alcohol has never been this high! Deep garnet-purple, it comes bounding out of the glass with sit-up-and-beg notes of crème de cassis, plum preserves and mulberries plus nuances of chocolate box, Chinese five spice, licorice and candied violets. Full-bodied, rich and oh-so-hedonic, the palate is packed with juicy black fruit layers wrapped in a firm, velvety structure, with loads of fragrant spice layers on the very long finish.
This is a serious, deep and beautifully enticing wine with plenty of that glossy, glamorous Petit Mouton appeal. Ripe damson in colour, it has more Merlot in the blend than a typical year because only a small amount of the variety made it through to the first wine.
The Merlots were however, as you see at many Médoc properties, unusually rich and structured and this feels enveloping and hard to resist. Extraction was slow and careful and the liquorice, chocolate, grilled sarment notes are subtle but pressing.
This is phenomenal with such dense and layered tannins that go on for minutes. It’s full-bodied with blackberries, blueberries and chocolate. Sexy and so beautiful. Not sure what to say here. Maybe it should have gone into the first wine?
The 2018 Le Petit-Mouton is unusual in that it contains a high (40%) amount of Merlot. Pliant, racy and supple, the Petit-Mouton should drink well with minimal cellaring. In many vintages, Petit-Mouton is a smaller-scaled version of the Grand Vin, but in 2018, the elevated presence of Merlot yields a wine that is quite different in style, with softer contours and a much gentler overall feel than is often the case. The blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Yields were about 28 hectoliters per hectare as opposed to 34-37.
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