2014 Lilian Ladouys Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France
Score : 89/100
It was vinified through a long vatting time, between 4 to 6 weeks, before aging in 30% new oak barrels.
This Northern Médoc, left-bank Bordeaux wine from the village of Saint-Estèphe comes in a rather dark, yet bright red color, very red and intense to the rim.
The nose is also very intense and quite concentrated.
What strikes is the intensity of the Violette floral aromas, rather rare at this level of power in a wine.
There is luscious dark cherry liqueur, ripe blackberry and blackcurrant to it underlining that the grapes that have gone into making this wine must have been concentrated and quite ripe. Although the typical capsicum (bell pepper) smell of slightly unripe Cabernet Sauvignon is there too. So it’s ripe, but not all that much if you’re attentive enough!
Plenty of dark cocoa, dark toasted notes from a quality oak too.
The palate is also concentrated, with intense peppery flavors, again loads of dark cherry and red berry notes. Coffee, vanilla, clove and nutmeg from a well-integrated oak.
Tannins are rather granulous, feeling overall quite smooth thanks to an oily body and warm alcohol fell, but they do have a grippy feel to them that resonate with the green capsicum flavors.
Acidity is well backed up by the grippy tannins, but eventually lacks just a little presence to achieve a more perfect balance.
A two-facetted wine: on one side it is ripe and luscious with gorgeous Merlot-like dark cherry notes, and ripe-enough-like blackcurrant Cabernet flavors; on the other, one feels the grip of just-ripe Médoc fruit and their slight green capsicum feel.
Yet, this is definitely a powerful, well-made and concentrated wine, that delivers plenty of quality Bordeaux typicity, big tannins, and strong granulous texture.
The Violette aromas/flavors in here are truly a unique feature here, not found in such intensity in many wines.