Le Petit Mouton 2017
Tasting Notes Le Petit Mouton 2017
The 2017 Le Petit Mouton was tasted on two occasions, the first obviously reduced due to a later blending than its stablemates. Returning a second time in April, I still felt it needed a little more time and therefore I will seek to review this later in the year.
Blackberry and blueberry character with black licorice and aniseed. Full body, tight and chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Tight at the end but shows plenty of potential. Second wine of Mouton.
This has a pleasantly juicy and fleshy edge to the mix of cassis and cherry preserve flavors, while suave apple wood and warm stone notes glide in on the finish.—J.M.
The 2017 Le Petit-Mouton is dense, powerful and luscious. Even with all of its richness, the Petit Mouton possesses terrific structural underpinnings that give the wine its shape and overall persistence. Red cherry jam, wild flowers and sweet spice build into the finish in this decidedly succulent Pauillac. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The late season rains were especially challenging for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. As a result the total production of Le Petit-Mouton is down around 28%. "After the frost, which did not really affect us, the major challenge in 2017 was heat stress," Mouton Technical Director Philippe Dhalluin told me. "We had no rain until the end of June. Then, in September, when we needed a bit of rain again, we got more than double what would have been optimal. The September rain affected the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was able to take advantage of the last 15 days of the growing season, which were much more favorable. In the cellar, we opted for longer macerations at lower temperatures, as we wanted to avoid extracting the type of hard tannins that mark other vintages with very dry summers, such as 2011."
The 2017 Le Petit Mouton, blended of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, is very deep purple-black in color and a touch reduced on the nose (both times it was tasted), giving way to notions of preserved plums and blackberry preserves with touches of licorice, tar, black soil and truffles. Medium-bodied, elegant and with a firm line of grainy tannins melded with seamless freshness, it has a fairly muscular character at this stage and a long, earthy finish.