I’m in the wine trade for so long now that I can remember when Loudenne was a MUST HAVE for every half decent wine shelf. It was super reliable – or so we thought – and let’s face it Bordeaux was our touch stone for quality. Times changed. Australia and Chile came to town! Then Spain woke up. And so on. The best in Bordeaux became too expensive to drink – the best is now TOO EXPENSIVE.
This month Chateau Loudenne, a Cru Bourgeois from the Medoc, held a revelatory tasting in Dublin. Revelatory you say! Yes, Bordeaux has changed. A lot. And this Chateau Loudenne tasting brought quite a lot of this change into sharp focus. In a very good way! I’ll let the Loudenne web-site fill you in on its history – Pink Chateau – rolling vineyards to the sea – a unique private jetty – ‘I Will Always Remember’ – exquisite follies – privileged terroir – parties – great visitors center …. lots of roses – now co-owned by Moutai, the number one Chinese liquor company, and Camus, the largest family-owned and independent cognac producer, Loudenne has reclaimed its distinguished history and recreated its past splendor …
The wines at thsi tasting showed the difference between the Then and the Now. It was presented by CEO Philippe de Poyferré who is in his first year at Loudenne and came from Ducru-Beaucaillou. Philippe is determined to transform Loudenne into a fully organic and large Bordeaux property within five years. Note the label change and the use of the rose as its logo. Retail is around the thirty Euro mark.
Loudenne White 2015
Tremendous style (70/30 Sauv Blanc/Semillon) with grace and character. Light peach and rich lemon balanced well to a hint of oak. Fine food wine. Will age. Easy to recommend.
(50/50 Cabernet Merlot) Fine damson, good depth, distinct tobacco pouch, top-class structure with excellent tannin on the finish. ageing well. Agree with Philippe that this is a ‘Cabernet Style of wine’. Indeed, he wants Loudenne to be known as this.
Young ruby, purple heart. Rising fruits from a wooded background. Instantly attractive. Bright blackberry. Rich entry. Solid wine! High in structure and fruit. Youthful. Tremendously well structured and long finish. Will age well. Really like this wine. (53/45/2 Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc)
One of the truly greatest vintages shines through here like a beacon. Brick heart, medium depth. Very traditional with ageing tobacco pouch, big fruit, exquisite fruit/structure balance, obvious and attractive depth and superb gravelled tannic finish. A pleasure to taste. (40/55/4/1 Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc/Malbec)
Loudenne 1996 (Magnum just opened)
Hint of red to a brick heart. Tertiary ageing elements in full flow! All good and opens up after about twenty minutes. Very soft tannins sit well with the fruit. Will serve brilliantly with a sweetened jus over a rich roast. Drink now. ((45/45/7/1 Cab Sauv/Merlot/Cab Franc/Malbec)
Chateau Loudenne is now drinking early and yet continues to have ageing potential. It throws up a thoroughly modern fruit/structure ratio that can take on wines from any country in the world at similar prices. All of this packaged to promote enjoyment. conviviality and confidence. Must keep in touch. Widely available through wine stores across the land.