As usual, the second wine, the 2006 Clos du Marquis, exhibits a character similar to the grand vin, but it is a more fruit-forward effort with sweeter tannins, and a more precocious, evolved personality. With super intense black cherry and cedary notes intermixed with hints of licorice and barrique, this deep, medium to full-bodied, velvety-textured wine is ideal for consumption over the next 15+ years.
The 2006 Clos du Marquis has a typical bouquet for this cru with forward and lavish black cherries, cassis and incense aromas, perhaps more oaky than some of its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with an insistent grip in the mouth. This is surprisingly backward with impressive density. You can feel the weight of black fruit in the mouth, although it needs more finesse and precision on the finish. Give this another five years and you could have a "dark horse" on your hands.
Wonderful aromas of blackberries, minerals and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with a lovely core of cool fruit. Racy and caressing tannins. Excellent. 13.2 percent Cabernet Franc--more than normal. Better structured than normal, too.
Second wine of Léoville Las Cases. Pretty dark crimson. Ripe black fruits with lift on the nose. Very racy. Sweet start, very fine tannins. Slightly green tannins but a definite polish. This year all the Cabernet Franc went into this wine even if most of the constituents for Léoville Las Cases and Clos du Marquis come from different parcels. A bit inky on the finish. Very much an also ran in 2006. One has the sense, because of its greenness, that it has swept up the offcuts. Bit of a skinny little thing.
Bright, full ruby-red. Ripe aromas of blackberry, kirsch, cedar and sexy oak. Rich, broad and pliant, with chewy, vibrant flavors of black fruits and licorice. This boasts excellent texture and depth for a second wine. Finishes with substantial dusty, fine tannins and excellent length. A serious and full vintage for Clos du Marquis, but less forbidding now that it's in bottle than a sample I tried from barrel last spring.
Tasted at Léoville Las-Cases. Although I regard this as the second best second label in the Médoc, I cannot help feeling that the Clos du Marquis is a tad disappointing compared to the exquisite Grand Vin. Rather disjointed on the nose with an underlying greenness. Yet the palate is silky smooth, very focused although lacking some depth on the finish. Barrel ageing should round this out and add meat to the bones, but I was expected this to be scoring in the low 90's. Tasted April 2007.
Full ruby-red. Currant, licorice, graphite and smoky oak on the nose. Juicy, serious and insinuating, with sweet currant and mineral flavors framed by ripe acidity and firm tannic spine. Finishes with noteworthy persistence and purity. This received almost all of the estate's cabernet franc in 2006. This is hardly your typical second wine-on the contrary, it's a rather Pauillac style of St. Julien that will likely require at least seven or eight years of cellaring.