|Grapes||Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||Cru Bourgeois Supérieur|
The upswing in fortunes and class of this great little estate are crystal-clear, since the since its acquisition and serious investment by French property magnate Jacky Lorenzetti. In this 2014 release, the 2% Petit Verdot adds another dimension to this ample, full and satisfying claret. There is a touch of chewy intensity to the deep fruit - but the level of ripeness is spot-on. Broad, yes but a measured balance is there too. Nicely done with a touch of modernity. Another stylish St Estephe! This is drinking brilliantly now, but will comfortably rest in the cellar for mid-term drinking. Drinking range: 2018 - 2025 Rating: 89 L&S (Apr 2015)
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The Château Lilian-Ladouys 2014 is a blend of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot cropped at 44hl/ha. Aged in 30% new oak from several cooperages, it veers towards fleshy red berry fruit on the nose with hints of dried herbs and sous-bois lending personality, something to talk about. The palate is medium-bodied with tobacco infused black fruit, masculine in style with good backbone and impressive precision on the finish. This Saint Estèphe cru has seen a rapid improvement in recent years and this is another fine wine to add to their roster. I expect the bottle sample to land at the upper end of the band and continue the upswing in fortunes since its acquisition by Jacky Lorenzetti. Drinking range: 2019 - 2032 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2015)
Lillian Ladouys is soft, plump and juicy, with lovely immediacy in its fruit and terrific overall balance. Dark red cherry, plum and spice notes flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's textured, layered personality that is most appealing. The 2014 will drink well early and should be a terrific value as well. There is a lot to like. The blend is 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. This is a terrific effort from Lilian Ladouys and the team headed Technical Director Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen and Consulting Winemaker Eric Boissenot. Rating: 88-90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Apr 2015)
This is a very serious and structured wine from here. Best ever? Full, chewy and structured. Plenty of fruit. Chewy. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Mar 2015)
Château Lilian Ladouys
This lovely Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel in Saint Estèphe enjoys an enviable location on the Cos plateau, near to Calon, Montrose and Cos d'Estournel itself. The 80 hectare vineyard is 80% on gravel with a clay-limestone base, 20% on limestone-clay and is planted at 8500-10000 vines per hectare, with 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc.
The history of the estate can be traced back as far as 1654, when the property was in the ownership of Jacques de Bercoyan, a Bordeaux magistrate. By this time it was already known as La Doys, an obvious precursor to the Ladouys name of today.
The exciting modern history of the property began in 2008 when it was bought by Jacky Lorenzetti, and the family's investment was rewarded with the Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel classification in 2018. Since the purchase there has been many more deals to consolidate a coherent vineyard from the many parcels.
Lilian Ladouys is managed by Emmanuel Cruse, the consultant oenologist is Eric Boissenot. The work in the vineyard aims to make sure there is an even spread of bunches on the vines, and that these are well-ventilated (leaf-thinning). The earth is ploughed, with either sowing of ground-cover between the vines, or leaving nature to its own devices, depending on the vigour of each parcel. The grapes are harvested by hand, with sorting as bunches and again by grape after the de-stemming, after which the they go into the vats by gravity for a cold maceration prior to the fermentation. Extraction is managed by gentle délestage. The wine is aged in barrel, with 40% new wood each year.
The vineyard certified 'Haute Valeur Envionmentale' level 3. From 2020 they began conversion to organics with 20% of the vineyard, and all being well will complete conversion in 2023.
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