Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

Fine Wine Review site

Château Lilian Ladouys


Address: 33180 St Estèphe

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 59 71 96



I visited Château Lilian Ladouys in 1991 for Decanter Magazine, recently renovated by the [then] ambitious owner Christian Thiéblot. The first couple of wines in 1989 and 1990 were stunning and the winery and chai all freshly minted. Then something went wrong. Wines from the mid-1990s turned out charmless and tannic. There have been several different owners since Thiéblot and rumblings of improvements but the wines still seem pretty tough to me. Now Emmanuel Cruse [Chateau d’Issan] is running the estate, so expect things to improve. Second wine is La Devise de Lilian.

Vineyard/Terroir: 40 hectares spread across 100 or so parcels planted with 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc

Winemaking/Elévage: Twenty to thirty day maceration followed by eighteen months ageing in oak, a third new.

Tasting notes:

  • 2014 Deep colour; black fruits; some wet rock; tar; cake spices; textured almost verging towards the thick; gutsy with some tannic clout; chewy finish. Drink 2022-2028. Tasted at Cru Bourgeois event at d’Arsac, 2 April, 2015. 85-87
  • 2013 Deepish colour, tight to rim; clean and pure on the nose; entry high toned with more obvious acidity; compact and sappy. Feels a little austere. [55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 12.82% alc, TA 4, pH 3.46, IPT 72, 35 hl/ha]. Drink 2018-2024. 83-85
  • 2011 Deep and dark; saturated but vibrant at edge; potentially attractive fruit, some layers and cassis; lots of oak on the palate; very dry wood tannin; lots of acid pucker. Cold sample admittedly but still feels way too extracted and dry. Tasted at Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc  3/4/12 80-82? Drink 2016-2020
  • 2010 Saturated colour; some finesse on the nose; creamy and layered quite fine; oak is present but wine has depth. Tannins here but guts and overall feels a reasonably polished effort 85-86+/100 l’Alliance des Crus Bourgeois tasting 7th April 2011 Drink 2018-2025
  • 1995 Deep at centre, mahogany now, dusty, dry and hard; palate has some beef and roast meat flavours to it and tannins softened and agglomerated. OK but not a patch on wonderful 1990 or 1989.  82/100 Sept ‘07 
  • 1994 Mid red; hard and tannic with little fruit on the palate. Short. 80/100 Sept ‘07
  • 1992 Deep; slightly feral nose; developed; gutsy and not complex; some fruit. Not that bad considering the vintage. 82/100 Mar ‘99
  • 1991 Red at edge; spicy quite developed; lacks fruit. Dreadful vintage of course. 75/100 Oct ‘95
  • 1990 Dark and black red; meaty savoury rich St Estephe; big structure and rich on the palate. Big and gutsy. The best wine ever from here. 90/100 Nov ‘03. 
  • 1989 Dark red; mahogany at edge; big frames and also beefy. Very good. First vintage from this estate. 89/100 Oct ‘04

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