Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Two 2008 Pouilly-Fumés: de Ladoucette and Clos des Chaudoux

2008  Pouilly-Fumé, de Ladoucette
Yesterday evening we tried a couple of 2008 Pouilly-Fumés. We started with the ripe, soft 2008 de Ladoucette, which has some grassy aromas. Although pleasant enough it is rather bland – lacking complexity and length. 

2008 Clos des Chaudoux, Pouilly-Fumé

It was probably unfair on the Ladoucette, which is a cuvée with a substantial production, to taste and drink it alongside this single vineyard wine from Serge Dagueneau et Filles. Had I had a bottle a fairer comparison might have been with the Ladoucette prestige cuvée Baron L.

The Clos des Chaudoux comes from 45 year old vines planted on the 1.5 hectare parcel called Pentes de Chaudoux (slopes of Chaudoux). After 10-12 hours of skin contact it is vinified in stainless steel and then spends 16-18 months on its fine lees before bottling.

The 2008 Chaudoux is richer, more vibrant with some complex citric aromas and flavours. Although it has 13% alcohol, the wine has a freshness in the finish. With its more powerful flavours this was a better match with our cod and tuna fishcakes than the Ladoucette.
As one might expect the Clos du Chaudoux is more expensive: a check on wine-searcher shows that the Ladoucette sells for around 18€ and the Chaudoux (2007 vintage) for 23€. I think the Chaudoux is worth the extra 5€ if you are looking for a Pouilly-Fumé with character. 


Luc Charlier said...

Lovely contribution, Jim.

You’re NOT unfair on the Ladoucette. It’s the Baron’s wines which are unfair to their customers. They are always bland, neutral, “passe-partout”. Nothing wrong about it, were it not for the price, the arrogance, the snobbery of those wines, that estate and its management.

Compare to Château de Tracy, for instance: same reputation, same price range, same volume (I guess, I did not check), same type of aristocracy. But a huge difference in quality and definition, if you ask me. And Mr. Henry d’Assay is a charming gentleman, full of wit and devoid of pretence.

Jim's Loire said...

Thank you Luc. Entirely agree with you – Tracy makes very good wines. Production, however, is much smaller.

Luc Charlier said...

Glad I expressed a word of caution about the volume of production, I don’t possess your expertise. Yet, isn’t it a shame that total volume of production exerts such an influence on the average quality? It makes sense if you compare oceans of wine to handcrafted goodies, but here, we are talking what, a factor 2 or 3 in magnitude ?
And we cannot help but have the feeling that “they” want the small (i.e less than, say, 40 ha, or 100 acres) producers out of this world. So the best part of our beloved wines might well disappear.

Jim's Loire said...

Luc. I'm convinced that there is a good market for small quality producers. There are a sufficient number of people who look for invididual wines with personality.

See the piece I'm writing on Tarlant Champagnes.