Once More, with Precision (Château Lilian Ladouys Gets Serious)

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Château Lilian Ladouys vintages

“I think… we’re now more precise.”

According to manager Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen, that’s the secret behind the revitalization of Saint-Estèphe’s Château Lilian Ladouys.

If Bache-Gabrielsen’s name feels familiar, it’s because he also manages Château Pédesclaux, the Pauillac property that the Lorenzetti family purchased just one year after picking up Lilian Ladouys, and which their team also revitalized. If you’re sensing a theme here, don’t congratulate yourself, because, bluntly stated, the theme is pretty friggin’ obvious. And – spoiler alert! – the results are basically the same: an ailing Bordeaux producer weaned off of life support, and now celebrated as doing the rarest of all Bordeaux wine tricks: over-delivering for its price point (you can find their main red for well under $40/bottle).

Backtracking for a bit of history: the Château Lilian Ladouys property dats back to the 1560s, and was revitalized once before in the late 1980s. Like skinny …

Lilian Ladouys 17
crowd pleaser
kick ass
kick ass

Discover Château de Potiron

This post is by Kathy from Wine Trail Traveler LLC

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At the recent APVSA wine tasting in Washington D.C. we had the opportunity to meet Célia Caule, winemaker for Château de Potiron. The Château is located in Côtes de Bordeaux.

Cuvée Exceptionnelle 2014

Célia was enthusiastic about the wines from Château de Potiron and while tasting a couple of the Château wines we learned more about Château de Potiron.

The first wine we tasted, Cuvée Privilege 2012, was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This is the oldest wine that Château de Potiron has to offer and is considered an entry level wine. The wine was a translucent purple color. The aroma was earthy with black fruit notes. The taste included blackberries and black raspberries. The wine had medium tannins. The finish was long.

The second wine, the Cuvée Exceptionnelle 2014, was a high-end wine. This 13.5% alcohol wine was produced by hand. The color …

30 Great Wine Bargains of 2019

This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head

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In a sense, the “30 Great Wine Bargains of 2019” is more instructive that the “50 Great Wines of 2019” that I posted a few days ago. The latter is a proposition for dreaming; the former is about realistic goals and purchasing. Prices range from $10 to $20. The proportion is two sparkling wines (both Cava but different styles); three rosé wines (also of different styles); 16 whites and nine reds. Geographically, the breadth includes California (8), Italy (5), France and Spain (3 each), Oregon and South Africa (2 each), and Argentina, Austria, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal and Slovenia (1 each). Call us diverse, here at BTYH! Looking at this roster, I can’t help thinking what a great and reasonably-priced list this would make for restaurants and by-the-glass programs. Anyway, enjoy, in moderation, of course.

These wines were generally samples for review.


Aia Vecchia Vermentino 2017, Toscana, …

Wine of the Day, No. 516

This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head

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The Thienpont family has owned Chateau Puygueraud since 1946. The 47-hectare estate, about 116 acres, in the Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux puyappellation is the family’s home, though they also own the prestigious Pomerol properties Vieux-Chateau-Certan and Le Pin. The vineyards at Puygueraud — 42 hectares of black grapes, 5 of white — were replanted in the 1970s and go through a deliberate and continuous process of replanting. The estate is managed now by Nicolas Thienpont and his son Cyrille. Chateau Puygueraud 2014 is a blend of 75 percent merlot, 20 percent cabernet franc and 5 percent malbec; no cabernet sauvignon is grown.  The wines here typically age 12 to 16 months in oak, one-third new barrels each year. The color is opaque black-purple with a lighter violet rim; classic aromas of black currants and raspberries open to scents of cedar and tobacco, graphite and lavender, with a touch of …

2 Legit 2 Quit (The Revitalization of Château Pédesclaux)

This post is by 1WineDude from 1 Wine Dude

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Château Pédesclaux lineup

Ah, good old, dependable Château Pédesclaux.

Well, for those in the know when it comes to Bordeaux, this Pauillac producer was dependable for decades… in that one could usually depend on it to under-perform.

Established back in 1810 by the wine broker who gave it its name (Pierre Urbain Pédesclaux), Pédesclaux rose to prominence rather quickly by Bordeaux standards, being classified as Fifth Growth in 1855. The 20th Century saw successions of ownership and neglect; at one point in the 1950s, the estate was tagged for demolition.

In 2009, Pédesclaux was picked up by Françoise and Jacky Lorenzetti (owners of Chateau Lilian Ladouys), who, according to current manager Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen (with whom, through the miracles of modern technology, I had a nice remote online chat) set about to “legitimize” the estate. This started with the vineyards, which were replanted, reworked, expanded, and eventually given a treatment so detailed that …

kick ass

Wine of the Day, No. 502

This post is by Fredric Koeppel from Bigger Than Your Head

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Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin stands in isolation at the northern border of the Listrac-Medoc appellation. Situated far inland of the D2 road that runs through the premier regions known for the top-rated and famous estates, Listrac-Medoc is a slightly hilly area — as hilly as it gets in Bordeaux — of forests and vineyards that grow on well-drained layers of gravel soil. The estate dates back to 1810; it was acquired by the Meyre family in 1908. Current owner is Alain Meyre. The vineyard is planted to about 55 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon and 5 percent petit verdot. The unpretentious chateau is available for guests. The estate of 32 hectares — about 79 acres — is classified as Cru Bourgeois. Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin 2015 is a blend of 57 percent merlot, 40 percent cabernet sauvignon and 3 percent petit verdot, aged 12 months in oak, 25 percent …

200 Bottles of 1969 Pommard Found in Cellar: ‘They Tasted Great’

This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION

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French château renovation
The château at Clos de Commaraine in Pommard. Photo Credit: CLOS DE COMMARAINE

Pommard Landmark Clos de la Commaraine Gets A Biodynamic, And Luxury, Renovation

I have a new piece on Forbes that I loved researching. An exciting renovation includes tales of forgotten wine, Thomas Jefferson visits and sheep in the vineyards. Read it all here.

Clos de Commaraine has a rich history dating to the 12th century. Photo Credit: CLOS DE COMMARAINE

The 2018 harvest marked the next phase of life for Burgundy landmark Clos de la Commaraine. Located in the esteemed Côte-d’Or, the property includes 3.75 hectares of Pommard 1er Cru vines which are fixed in a monopole, now operated by an American couple with plans produce biodynamic wines. The last wine made under the single estate Commaraine name was in 2002 — since then the grapes have been sold to Maison Louis Jadot and produced under …

Two Légende Wines from Châteaux Lafite Rothschild

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Legende Bordeaux Blanc 2017

Recently we tasted and enjoyed two Bordeaux wines, a white and a red, from Châteaux Lafite Rothschild. These two wines, branded as Légende, are not from the Lafite Rothschild’s renowned aged vineyards but from younger and less prestigious vineyards owned by the famous winery and nearby vineyards. Compared to the venerated Châteaux de Rothschild wines, the Légende wine brand is much more affordable and a good value.

The Légende Bordeaux Blanc 2017 was a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. This white wine, with 12% alcohol, was dry. The color was a light yellow. The aroma was mild with intense notes of tropical fruit with a hint of honeysuckle after a late spring rain. The mouthfeel was smooth and silky. The taste was racy with notes of citrus. There were also notes reminiscent of tropical fruits like pineapple and melon. The wine had a long finish. …

Wine Tasting of Bordeaux Wines from Château des Milles Anges

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Château des Mille Anges red wine

At the APVSA wine tasting in Washington, I enjoyed sampling a couple of wines from Château des Milles Anges. The property is located in the Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux AOC. According to the unique wine bottle label, the Château des Mille Anges is referred to as the “House of a thousand angels.”

Red Wines

The Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux St. Germande Graves 2012 was was a red wine that retails for 9 euros. The wine was a light opaque red/purple color. The wine was light bodied with bold tannins. This dry wine offered dark fruit notes.

The AOC Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux Mozart 2012 was a translucent dark purple with red color. This wine was full bodied with dark red fruit notes that reminded one of black cherries and blackberries. The aftertaste was long and tannins were on the finish.

Since purchasing the …

Finalist 2019 Millesima Blog Awards

This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Region Travel & Reviews: A Wine Story

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2019 Millesima Blog Awards Finalist for Wine Travel

Finalist in 2019 Millesima Blog Awards

Finalist in 2019 Millesima Blog Awards

Very excited to hear I am a finalist in the 2019 Millesima Blog Awards for Wine Travel.

The wine story is called The Roussillon of Southern France: Fortified and Sweet in More Ways than One.

The story is very special for me because visiting this wild, untamed region had always been a fantasy.

And of course, during my long years studying for the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) we HAD to know all about Banyuls Grand Cru.

The People

Of course, the wine was fabulous. I went to the Roussillon looking to see those enormous wooden vats where wine made from Grenache grapes spends ten years – and more – waiting to “come of age.”

Yet more than the classic traditional sweet wine, I also discovered the people of the Roussillon. They are …

Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Wines for (Last-Minute) Giving and Getting

This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head

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I had to insert the term “Last-Minute” to the title of this entry, which I should have posted on Friday or at least yesterday, because here it is, Sunday. Still, wine stores are open today in many states, and there’s always tomorrow. I picture My Readers on an endless whirl of parties, receptions, open houses, brunches, wassails, carol-singing and what-not, giddily essaying the Yuletide with customary joy and merriment. For any or all of these festive occasions you will require a bottle of wine as a present for your host or to contribute to the groaning board. If that’s not — let’s face it — the case, you may still need a bottle of wine to take to the family or friends dinner on Christmas Day. There should be a bottle here or several to suit every taste and credit card, six whites, six reds. The price range starts at …

#GoGoldenBordeaux with Sweet Bordeaux

This post is by Todd Godbout from WineCompass

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Raise your hand if like me, you thought Sweet Bordeaux would refer to just the wonderful wines of Sauternes? I learned preparing for the Snooth facilitated #GoGoldenBordeaux tasting that Sauternes is one of ten appellations producing these dessert wines. Bordeaux is the only French region which allows for the development of Botrytis Cinerea – aka noble rot. And this derives from the region’s oceanic climate which alternates between humidity and heat. When the Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, or Muscadelle grapes hang on the vine a little past their harvest peak then noble rot ensues. This grape concentration produces a golden colored wine with intense aromas and flavors.

Its sweet wines come from the towns of Sauternes, Barsac, Preignac, Fargues and Bommes, located on the left bank of the Garonne, about forty kilometers south of Bordeaux. Its grapes are Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle. They are vinified according …

Tour Des Deux Rives Comes to NYC

This post is by Marisa D'Vari from Wine Reviews: A Wine Story

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Very exciting to see old friends from Bordeaux come to New York this week for a tasting of excellent wine from the various appellations.

Nicholas Glumineau was on hand to present several vintages of Chateau de Pez in Saint-Estephe, Chateau Haut-Beausejour, and Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

Herve Gouin was on hand to present Chateau Mouton Rothschild from Paulliac as well as Chateau D’Armailhac, and Chateau Clerc Milon.

Cathleen Burke Visscher presented Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, and Chateau Lalande-Borie.

Veronique Sanders was also presenting Chateau Haut-Bailly.

Jean-Philippe Lemoine presented Chateau d’Yquem, the dry wine as well as two vintages of the sweet wine.

Christian Moueix and Kassidy Harris presented an assortment of wines from the many estates including Chateau Hosanna, Chateau Certan de May, Chateau Bourgneuf, Chateau Lafleur-Gazin, Chateau Magdelaine, Chateau Puy Blanquet, and Chateau de Sales.

The post Tour Des Deux Rives Comes to NYC appeared first on Wine Reviews: …

Chateau Angelus and Organic Viticulture in Bordeaux

This post is by from The Wine Sleuth

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When one thinks of Bordeaux, organic viticulture does not immediately spring to mind but one family in St Emilion are working to change that perception. I had lunch earlier this week with Hubert de Bouard (head of the family, his daughter Stephanie Bouard-Rivoul (Managing Director) and cousin, Thierry Grenier de Bouard (Deputy Managing Director) for […]

The post Chateau Angelus and Organic Viticulture in Bordeaux appeared first on The Wine Sleuth.

Weekend Wine Notes: Allons, enfants de la patrie!

This post is by from Bigger Than Your Head

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The wine regions of France, especially Bordeaux and Burgundy, long served as the models and the ideals for producers and winemakers all over the world. Even nowadays, when wine-making has proliferated worldwide and expanded far beyond the so-called “noble grapes” of French origin, Burgundy is often seen as the apotheosis of chardonnay and pinot noir, Bordeaux the epitome of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, Champagne the ur-text of sparkling wine. I offer today, in celebration of Bastille Day, 12 examples that illustrate, even if in a severely limited degree, the diversity and the versatility of French wine production. Some of those noble grapes are involved — cabernet and merlot, indeed, chardonnay and pinot noir, riesling — but also a more everyday variety like gamay and obscure grapes like jacquere. In one blog post, no one could begin to assay the immense complexity of France’s geographical extent and appellation system, but I …

French Rules Ease To Help Winemakers Deal With Extreme Weather

This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION

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Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne, Périgord Wine, Dordogne Wine
Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne cave in Duras, France. Credit: Jill Barth

The French governing body overseeing wine appellation regulations, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), announced this month that wine producers are now allowed to hold back more stock, following recent losses caused by extreme weather conditions. The action enables winemakers to set aside a portion of any vintage in order to maintain a supply for future use. The INAO compared the action to “crop insurance” as a measure of adaptability.

The current stock storage rules date back to 2013, put in place in order to maintain a reasonable reserve in the case of adverse conditions resulting in reduced quantity. Prior to the June 2018 announcement by the INAO, wineries were allowed to hold back an amount equal to 10% of their stock.

To read the full story, please visit my Forbes contributor page here. 

For background on …

Jeroboams Bordeaux Rouge 2016

This post is by from Simon Woods – Drinking Outside The Box

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If only all young Bordeaux Rouge were like this Jeroboams Bordeaux Rouge 2016 (François Thienpont), France (£13.45 Jeroboams) Young, fresh plummy claret, with juicy blackcurrant fruit in abundance, sympathetic use of oak, and a vibrant, perfumed finish. Rounded and appealing, but carries its 14% alcohol well. S-

Guide to the Wines of Côtes de Bordeaux

This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION

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I’m fascinated by Côtes de Bordeaux which is comprised of Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs and Sainte-Foy appellations. Look at these growing regions as a sorority of sorts — unique individuals grouped together with a common purpose.

I love this explanation from the Côtes de Bordeaux website:

A Côtes de Bordeaux is:

a wine that has a history and at the same time is full of modernity

a wine that develops the imagination, which refers to the heart of hillsides , around a story, a family

a wine with a human face, personified by its ambassador: the winemaker

a wine conceived with passion, which symbolizes the love of the craft and the know-how of the winemakers

discovery wine, a ” nugget ” that accompanies the beautiful moments of sharing and encourages conviviality

a wine to please

a safe bet

an elegant, round and structured wine, with good aging …

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Côtes de Bordeaux wines, affordable French wine, red wine
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The vineyard of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux - Gironde