Château Lilian Ladouys is a winery located in the Médoc area of the Bordeaux region, France, more precisely in the village appellation of Saint-Estèphe.
Classified as Cru Bourgeois Supérieur in 1932, the estate has a long and prestigious History of winemaking traced back to the 16th Century. The distinctive ‘two towers’ of its main building are a testimony of Lilian Ladouys past glory.
Since the acquisition of the Château by the Lorenzetti family in 2008, who also owns Château Pédesclaux in Pauillac and the Racing 92 rugby club around Paris, considerable efforts have been put into place to restructure the vineyard, improve the winery facilities and ultimately, the quality of the wines.
Read along as we dig deeper into Château Lilian Ladouys’ History, its story and its wines.
Château Lilian Ladouys Wine Reviews & Related Posts
The history of Château Lilian Ladouys is inseparable from that of the Médoc. The existence of the ‘La Doys’ estate, a name which makes reference to the source in the Gascon language, can be traced back to 1564 when it was held in fief by Jacques de Becoyran, lord of Lafite. Château Lafite Rothschild is in fact just a few hundred metres away from the estate.”
In the 18th century the estate was owned by the Barre family. Over a period of 150 years, the Barres forged the chateau’s identity by building the stunning main chartreuse house and then adding its two towers a few decades later. The initials A. B., for Auguste Barre and C. L., for Château Ladouys are still visible on the tower stones.”
Médoc wines experienced a golden age during the 19th century. In 1850, the first edition of Cocks & Féret named the estate as one of the best in Saint-Estèphe. According to the 1898 Féret edition, the chateau’s estate covered 75 hectares, three quarters of which were planted with vines. The guide accorded it the rank of Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, a status officially confirmed in 1932 and again in 2003.
In the 20th century, the estate was hit hard by the effects of the First World War and the economic crisis. The vineyard was divided up and eventually forgotten. During the mid-1980’s the estate was acquired by Christian Thiéblot and his wife Lilian, in whose honour the chateau was named Lilian Ladouys. They made an impact with the 1989 and 1990 vintages which matched up to the best wines the appellation had to offer. It was the beginning of a revival.
In 2008, Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti acquired the estate after falling in love with it. They very quickly poured passion and ambition in the estate, launching a vast reparcelling programme. Construction work on a new semi-underground vat house was begun in 2009. The image of a four-leaf clover appearing on the walls of the chateau became the winegrowing emblem of Lilian Ladouys and features on the label.
1564 – Jacques de Bercoyan
XVIIIth c. – Family Barre
Architecture: The Barre family has created a chartreuse in style Directoire. Le Directoire is a French period from 1795 to 1799. The main points of this time are the sobriety in the style, cubic in shape, small curves. Built during the 19th Century, that’s in neo-classic: we can observe the façade with the antique details like the pediment.
1932 – Classification as a Cru Bourgeois
1989 –The owners were Christian and Lilian Thiéblot. Christian was totally in love with her wife so in honour of her, he added the name “Lilian” to the name “Ladouys”.
2008 – Mr and Mrs Lorenzetti buy the château.
The family Lorenzetti wants to improve the quality. That’s why they have restored and modernized all the technical installations.
The vineyards of the château LILIAN LADOUYS is a perfect representation of all the Saint- Estèphe soils.
The subsoil is composed with gravels, clay, limestone and sand.
Vineyards and grape varieties
Upon completion of its ambitious reparcelling programme, the estate undertook large-scale vineyard regeneration work.
The aim was to recreate coherent islands of vines planted with carefully selected grape varieties in the spirit of a 19th-century vineyard. Gravel soils over clay and limestone subsoils – the appellation’s geological treasures – were consistently prioritised in the exchange and acquisition of land.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot occupy a prominent position among the new plantings.
Anything which promotes aeration and microbial life within the soil is encouraged. Land treatment is adapted to the plant and its terroir, the soils are grassed over or tilled, and green manure made up of grains and legumes is sown. Cultivation method tests are conducted according to the lunar calendar with the aim of listening to and understanding our vineyard.
The vineyards of the château LILIAN LADOUYS spreads on 47 hectares with 4 grape varieties:
3 % Cabernet Franc
2% Petit Verdot
The average age of the vines is 35 years old.
Winery & Winemaking
Château LILIAN LADOUYS has 3 tank rooms.
The 1st winery was created in 1989, composed with 14 thermo-regulated (a cooling fin). We use it for the alcoholic fermentations.
The 2nd winery was created in 2009, it has 8 vats with a coil. This is a sublevel winery, we do rack and returns by gravity.
The 3rd winery dates from 1989, it has 12 vats, used for the malo-lactic fermentations and the blendings. Every vat/tank has a cooling fin.
All the vats are in stainless steel. Full capacity of the vats is 6200 Hl, the smallest can receive 50Hl and the biggest, 205Hl.
Grapes are always harvested by hand.
Manual table: 6 or 8 people select the best bunches
De-stemmer: separates the berries from the stems
2nd Manual table: After the de-stemming, we evict the bad berries in order to let it pass the best. When the berries are too green, they give acidity to the wine and that’s what we don’t want.
Then tanks are filled by gravity.
The three grape varieties are fermented seperately in different tanks.
Vertical press: filled with the marc (40 cm) then put on it a mat. We stop that work when the press is full. We drain the juice outside thanks to the holes situated all around the press.
Then we put the pressed wine in barrels.
The cellar was restored in 1989.
That’s French oak, from the Centre of France. The size is “la Bordelaise” 225 litres: 300 bottles. The temperature is 14-20°C.
We use a toast from Burgundy. That’s softer and longer than the other. It gives fatness, volume and roundness to the wine.
We have 15 coopers: François Frères, Cadus, Taransaud…
Duration of the ageing: between 14 to 16 months
Planting density: 8 500 to 10 000 vine stocks
Vineyard average age: 35 years old
Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti, Owners
After surrendering Foncia (the European market leader in property management) to the Banque Populaire group, Jacky Lorenzetti felt a need to move on to something new and invest his personal wealth in his four passions within the Ovalto Investissement holding: financial management, property, sport and viticulture. Françoise, who spent her childhood among the Bordeaux vines, dreamt of getting back to her roots. They acquired Lilian Ladouys with a plan to do all they could to enhance this great terroir. In wine, as in rugby, a taste for challenge set their hearts racing.
Emmanuel Cruse, Vineyard Director
The name Cruse has been echoing through the vineyard since the 18th century. Like his ancestors, Emmanuel Cruse knows the world of Grand Crus like the back of his hand. Co-owners of Château d’Issan in Margaux with Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti and a Grand Master of the Commanderie du Bontemps brotherhood, he has been applying his exacting standards to Lilian Ladouys and Pédesclaux since 2010.
Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen, Chief Operating Officer
Understanding and awakening the terroir, taking the estate to new heights – this is the role of Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen. A feature at the estate since the arrival of Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti, the chief operating officer has been moving forward with sensitivity and precision.
Production of first wine, Château Lilian Ladouys: 200,000 bottles per year
Production of second wine, La Devise de Lilian: 80,000 bottles per year
Cellar door information
The winery is open by appointment only.
More information about Lilian Ladouys at chateau-lilian-ladouys.com
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