CHATEAU LOUDENNE - Medoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur 2003Bordeaux Fine Wine
The position of Loudenne's vineyard is ideal. Its gravelly ridges slope gently down towards the Gironde Estuary which acts like a mirror. Loudenne also benefits from sea breezes which are propitious for ripening the grapes: concentration through evaporation and slight humidity. The soils are predominantly of clayey limestone and Garonne gravel.
Since the Lafragette family bought Loudenne in March 2000, work on the vines has been conducted with the specific aim of enhancing the individual character of Loudenne's terroir. Accordingly, right from the pruning season though to harvesting, every task is carried out with the utmost care, even down to the job of thinning out the harvest and the foliage by hand in September to help the ripening process. Ever anxious to respect the environment, they have instigated carefully calculated protection measures for the vineyard. In consequence, for the harvest to arrive in the cellars in good condition (an indispensable factor in making good quality wine), a series of preventative sprayings is essential. But thanks to their grasp of the development of diseases and weather conditions, they are able to choose when to carry out the treatment. So it is not systematic and accordingly, the number of times they spray is reduced. In the same way, when it comes to choosing the products, they opt more for substances which most respect the environment. Consequently the grapes destined to produce Loudenne's wines are perfectly ripe and in ideal condition.
Harvesting took place from September 30 to October 15 for a period of 11 days, carried out mechanically and by hand with the use of panniers and a sorting table. In order not to impair the quality of the grapes (the result of the vine-workers' hard labour and Nature's bounty), on arrival at the cellars, the harvest was manipulated with great care - no violent tipping, and subsequently transferred by conveyor belt.
Vinification in stainless steel or lined concrete vats. Vatting : 3 weeks. Punching down of the cap and pumping over. Malolactic fermentation in French oak vats and barrels.
Aging for 16 months in the cask. 30% of the casks renewed every year. Choosing different coopers adapted to their wines enables them to obtain complex, telling aromas. First started in 2000, malolactic fermentation in the cask is carried out in all the new casks. The aromas imparted by the vats are better accepted by the wine. This age-old technique makes the tannins silky and the wines rounder.
A magnificent spring favoured an early start to the vegetation cycle. The rainy, coldish summer might well have slowed the ripening process down but fortunately, the months of September and October were hot and windy, enabling them to achieve optimum maturity and to harvest in ideal weather conditions. The hailstorm on September 20 did not damage the vineyard.