The 2021 Lilian Ladouys was picked from 28 September to 8 October and matured in 30% new oak. It has the smallest proportion of Merlot for several years. It has a generous bouquet with blue fruit and violet complementing the red fruit, just a touch of pencil lead in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannins, good backbone here, though quite strict and just needs a little more amplitude on the dark chocolate-tinged finish. Drink over the next 15-20 years.
Drink 2025 - 2040
Neal Martin, vinous.com, (May 2022)
This is lovely, has the same high aromatics as the Devise de Lilian, but here much more intesity and depth through the palate. Has finesse and balance, with raspberry fruits dominant, and a subtle persistency. Austerity in the tannins differentiates it from the really exuberant years such as 2018, but it's impressive, and the salty cracker salinity on the finish is thoroughly enjoyable. Organic conversion began in 2020, with 100% in organic for the first time in 2021, with expected certification in 2024.
Drink 2024 - 2034
Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2022)
Aromas of raspberries, plums and spices, framed by creamy new oak, introduce the 2021 Lilian Ladouys, a medium to full-bodied, charming and seamless wine that's lively and open-knit. It's a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (Apr 2022)
About this WINE
Chateau Lilian Ladouys
Château Lilian Ladouys is Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois wine property located in Saint-Estèphe with 40ha vineyards on gravel rich soils and well-drained slopes overlooking the Gironde. Plantings are 58% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
The wine style is robust, with loads of black currant fruit, cherries and dusty, loamy soil notes as well as hints of tobacco leaf, spice box and cedar, that should agenicely for 10+ years
Saint-Estèphe is the northernmost of the most important communes of the Médoc and borders Pauillac on its southernmost border, with only a gully and stream separates it from Ch. Lafite. To the north lies the Bas-Médoc.
Saint-Estèphe is defined by the depth of its gravel, which is ubiquitous but of varying depths and occasionally very shallow, when clay predominates. This keeps the soil cooler and wetter than its counterparts so that the wines can appear fresh in lighter vintages, but superbly successful in hot, dry years.
The best châteaux in the south of the commune have the deepest soil and the thickest gravel. Cos d'Estournel has an exceptional terroir with its vineyards being located on a south-facing ridge of gravel with excellent drainage.
Saint-Estèphe is the least gravelly of main Médoc communes and in the north of the commune the vineyards are heavier and more clay-based leading to a rustic style of wine being produced.
The wines can appear austere in youth with a discernable ferric note at some châteaux, but the best typically display good depth of colour, pronounced acidity an tannins in youth and are exceptionally long-lived. At their best, they are the equal of almost any Bordeaux. The well-regarded St Estèphe co-operative controls the production of about half the appellation.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.