(75% merlot and 25 cabernet franc): Vivid ruby-red. Complex, scented nose is very cabernet franc-dominated, offering delicately spicy blackcurrant, truffle, mint and leafy aromas. Juicy, silky and sweet, with highly nuanced flavors of aromatic herbs and flowers. Not especially dense but wonderfully expressive today, finishing with a firm but polished tannic spine. Pierre Lurton told me that this estate went after only their really ripe cabernet franc and therefore had no issues with dilution. One of the best second wines of the year, this is more successful than many grands vins in 2013. Very well done.
Tasted blind. Colour looks rather developed. Quite woody on the nose. Dusty, dry but better harmony on the palate than I expected from the aroma. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2025
Robert Parker 85
The 2013 Le Petit Cheval, actually a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc (yes I know, different to the primeur blends quoted!), has a light red berry, strawberry and briary-scented bouquet that is brisk and fresh. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, light but balanced with a chalky finish. Drink now and over the next 4-5 years. Just 16,000 bottles were produced.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2020