Chateau Loudenne 2014
The 2014 vintage is characterized by mild but very rainy periods in winter (January, February), which favored a rapid growth of vegetation. The cool spring slowed down the development of the vine. July and August were cool and regularly watered, with sometimes hot spells over a few days. Beautiful sunshine in September and stable weather over several weeks allowed us to get the grapes to ripen well. The North Médoc and Loudenne were spared from the corridor of rain and storms which struck Saint-Estèphe and Pauillac.
Blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
The history of Chateau Loudenne is inextricably linked with the British wine trade. Built in the 17th century, Loudenne had many owners until 1875 when it was sold to two English brothers, Walter and Alfred Gilbey. The Gilbeys were already well known wine and spirit merchants in London and producers of the gin of the same name. The wines of Loudenne prospered in the British trade, surviving two world wars and the estate underwent a renovation programme in the 1960s and 70s. Under the energetic and experienced management of Martin Bamford MW, Chateau Loudenne remained part of Gilbey’s despite successive take-overs. Finally owned by Diageo, the Chateau was eventually sold in 2000 after more than a century of English ownership. In March of 2000, the Chateau was bought by the Lafragette family who had established their reputation in the Cognac industry. In 2013, the estate was purchased by the Moutai group from the Guizhou province, southern China, which traditionally specialises in brandies but also has wines in its portfolio.
Chateau Loudenne, with its 154 acres of planted vineyards, prides itself on the quality of their terroir which slowly descends to the river’s edge with excellent soils comprised of gravel, clay and limestone. While this area is known to be a cooler climate than the rest of the Médoc, the river tends to act as a mirror and reflects the warm sun onto the vineyards.
With all of these elements in place, Chateau Loudenne will continue to produce distinctive and elegant wines made from their estate vineyards that surround this historic ‘Suffolk pink” chateau, complemented by the blooms of the rose garden.
While it claims the same basic landscape as the Medoc—only every so slightly elevated above river level—the Haut Medoc is home to all of the magnificent chateaux of the Left Bank of Bordeaux, creating no lack of beautiful sites to see.
These chateaux, residing over the classed-growth cru in the villages of Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St-Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe are within the Haut Medoc appellation. Though within the confines of these villages, any classed-growth chateaux will most certainly claim village or cru status on their wine labels.
Interestingly, some classed-growth cru of the Haut Medoc fall outside of these more famous villages and can certainly be a source of some of the best values in Bordeaux. Deep in color, and concentrated in ripe fruit and tannins, these wines (typically Cabernet Sauvignon-based) often prove the same aging potential of the village classed-growths. Among these, the highest ranked chateaux are Chateau La Lagune and Chateau Cantemerle.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.