Released en primeur this morning, 2020 Château Lilian Ladouys has been a favourite on tasting in recent years and the cask sample we tasted today was quite excellent. This is a château with a clear mission to rise up through the ranks and was one of just 14 to be awarded 'Exceptionnel' status in the latest Cru Bourgeois classification just last year.
Since it was purchased by property magnate Jacky Lorenzetti in 2007, the diffuse parcels of vines have been bought, sold and swapped with other estates to unify the vineyards. Lorenzetti is also a rugby club owner and the same bold, highly motivated approach is evident here as at Pedesclaux, his estate in Pauillac, with its hugely impressive new winery. Just a few hundred metres from both Lafon-Rochet and Cos d'Estournel, the location clearly has potential to produce wines at a high level.
Tasting the 2020 we found a combination of savoury depth and bright, blackcurrant and blackberry fruits, with notes of dark tea and herbs on the nose. Despite the firm tannins, the palate is really succulent with more black fruits, which linger enjoyably on the finish. Jame Suckling scores it 92-93 points and, writing for Jancis Robinson, James Lawther MW describes it as "Fragrant and fruit-driven on the nose with a hint of oak. Juicy and full across the palate with a touch of sweetness on attack. Fine, powdery tannins spread behind, which tighten to a dry finish. Compact and not overworked." At just £145 per dozen bottles in bond, we think this is 'Exceptionnel' value!
|RED||2020||Château Lilian Ladouys||75cl||£145 per case of 12||Château Lilian Ladouys
2020 / / 75cl
£145 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"The 2020 Lilian Ladouys offers light blackberry, raspberry and sous-bois scents on the nose, although to my recollection, the previous two vintages demonstrated a little more fruit intensity. The medium-bodied palate offers grainy tannins and fine acidity. Quite peppery, especially toward the finish, with bay leaf and tea leaf notes infusing the black fruit. Classic Saint-Estèphe in style. This should drink well for 12–15 years. 90-92 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com ------"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Lilian Ladouys comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of crushed black cherries, kirsch and warm cassis, plus hints of cinnamon stick, dusty soil and wild sage. The medium-bodied palate delivers mouth-filling black berry and earthy layers, supported by ripe, approachable tannins and a racy backbone, finishing on a lingering mineral note. A property to watch—in 2018, the Lorenzetti family purchased two neighbor estates, Château Clauzet and Château Tour de Pez, adding these to the Lilian Ladouys vineyard to almost double its planted area to 77 hectares. These additional vineyards are composed of gravelly soils of the same level as the best blocks of Lilian Ladouys. Soils are a typical Saint-Estèphe mix of sandy gravel and clay with some limestone deposits. It is planted at 8,500-10,000 vines per hectare, with an average vine age of 37 years in 2020. Drink 2025-2043. 91-93 points" Lisa Perotti-Brown, RobertParker.com------"A very pretty, medium-bodied wine with fine tannins, lovely fruit and a creamy finish. Nicely integrated for the vintage in this appellation. 92-93 points" jamessuckling.com------"Juicy, well balanced, plenty of personality, with enough juice through the mid palate to balance out the big tannins that are pretty inescapable in any wines of ambition in 2020. The finish closes in sharply, but this is an enjoyable wine from the Lorenzetti-owned Lilian Ladouys (and for me one of the clear leaders of the new Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel category). 35% new oak, harvest September 15 to 30, 78% first wine. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. 93 points" Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine------"This estate continues to deliver the goods, and the 2020 Château Lilian Ladouys is another smoking wine readers will love. Lots of ripe black fruits, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and damp earth give way to a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, textured, beautifully balanced red that will drink well for 20 years or more. 92-94 points" Jebdunnuck.com