Inside La Place – Two families’ devotion

Françoise, Jacky, Manon Lorenzetti, Emmanuel Cruse, Managing Director, and Vincent Bache Gabrielsen, Director.

Château Lilian Ladouys, Saint Estèphe

Château Pédésclaux, 5 ème  Grand Cru Classé Pauillac

Château Lafon Rochet, 4 ème Grand Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

Château d’Issan, 3ème Grand Cru Classé Margaux

In mid-January, La Place de Bordeaux was invited by Vignobles Cruse-Lorenzetti for an  exceptional wine tasting at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Bordeaux. More and more estates choose to have their wines tasted in the centre of Bordeaux, a trend that has accelerated since the Covid period. This practice saves time for everyone, and it’s always a pleasure to meet up in this historic warehouse built in 1824, which was originally intended for the bonded storage of goods from the colonies, prior to their shipment across Europe.

First of all, I’d like to give you a little background on the partnership between Emmanuel Cruse and entrepreneur Jacky Lorenzetti. The Cruse family is one of the most emblematic in Bordeaux. Emmanuel’s grandfather bought Château d’Issan back in 1945. The Cruse family has owned several Châteaux, including Château Pontet Canet, as Emmanuel explained in his interview as Maître de La Commanderie du Bontemps: Inside La Place.In 1998, Emmanuel, the 3rd  generation of owners, took over the management of Château d’Issan. Since 2010, he has also held the position of Director of all the Lorenzetti family estates. Augustin Lacaille, Sales Director of Vignobles Cruse-Lorenzetti, had the excellent idea of presenting vintages from 2015 to 2020 inclusive for each Château, as well as a blind vintage.

Château Lilian Ladouys, Saint Estèphe


In 2008, dynamic Franco-Swiss entrepreneur Jacky Lorenzetti, founder of the Foncia Group, and his wife Françoise acquired their first Bordeaux vineyard, Château Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Estèphe.

It was Françoise in particular who fell in love with the 75 hectares located on the Saint-Estèphe plateau, bordering Calon Ségur to the north and Lafon Rochet to the south. The soil is mainly Graves with a clay subsoil. Currently, 55 hectares are in production, and the 20 hectares uprooted a few years ago will be back in production in 2026/2027. Lilian Ladouys’ 2012 vintage was chosen to demonstrate the excellent potential of this terroir. What’s more, this vintage won the Crus Bourgeois Cup in 2015. It became a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel with the 2018 vintage. This is a very pretty wine with smoky, woody notes and fleshy red fruit on the mid-palate. Lilian Ladouys is currently converting to organic farming and will be certified for the 2024 vintage.

Château Pédésclaux, 5ème  Grand Cru Classé Pauillac

It was only a year after the acquisition of Lilian Ladouys that the Lorenzetti family took a few more steps south of Saint-Estèphe and acquired Château Pedesclaux, 5th Grand Cru Classé Pauillac. It’s fair to say that this estate was a sleeping beauty. Under the talented direction of Vincent Bache-Gabrielsen, a study of the terroir was immediately carried out in 2010 and 19 different soil types were defined.

The grapes are vinified in a magnificent 58-tank gravity-fed winery designed by the world-famous architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who is also an urban planner. This certainly explains why the winery is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. Pedesclaux covers an area of 53 hectares and has a high planting density: 10,000 vines per hectare. Since the 2022 vintage, the wine has been certified organic. Here, Vincent’s team blind-tasted the 2014 vintage. Well done for this vintage, which was the first to be vinified in the new 100% gravity-fed winery. And another Bravo for the 2021 vintage.

The vineyard manager, Félix Soulagnes, explained to me that for this vintage, they waited for optimum ripeness and opted for a drastic selection. The yield was just 30 hl/ha. French journalist Bernard Burtschy (President of La Presse du Vin) awarded 95 points to this magnificent Pedesclaux 2021, which lost none of its Pauillac character in this challenging vintage.

Château Lafon Rochet, 4 ème Grand Cru Classé Saint Estèphe

In 2021, much to the surprise of La Place de Bordeaux, the Tesseron family sold Château Lafon Rochet to the Lorenzetti family. There are opportunities in life that should not be missed, and this very fine Saint-Estèphe was certainly one of them for the Lorenzetti family. Basile Tesseron, representing the third generation at the Château, has done a remarkable job at Lafon Rochet to bring this wine forward. Basile has had two new cellars built, one in stainless steel and the other in concrete.

In 2019, Basile and his team have embarked on an agroecology project to restore biodiversity to the estate. Since 2022, Christophe Congé, who worked for 23 years at Château Lafite Rothschild as Operations Manager, has taken over the reins at Lafon Rochet. A new chapter has opened for the estate, but the Tesseron family’s touch will remain, if only through the flamboyant colour of the Château, chosen by the great personality of Michel Tesseron.

Christophe served the 2022 vintage blind. When I tasted it, I said to him: “wow…. He’s a front row rugby player… French or All Blacks. He replied… no… Springboks! ” And yes, it’s a Grand, indeed a very Grand 2022! The wine has a lovely, ripe structure, but the tension is present from start to finish. At no point is it heavy, and it remains precise because the magnificent terroir of deep gravel on clay has enabled it to retain its freshness. This is pure Saint-Estèphe with a touch of Pauillac, as Lafon Rochet has Lafite Rothschild as its illustrious neighbour.

Château d’Issan, 3ème Grand Cru Classé Margaux

In 2010, Emmanuel Cruse was appointed Managing Director of all the Lorenzetti family estates. This collaboration intensified when, in 2013, Jacky and Françoise became shareholders in Château d’Issan. Five years later, Jacky and Françoise’s daughter Manon joined the Vignobles management committee. The family spirit so dear to Jacky, Françoise and Emmanuel continues with the arrival of this new generation. The tasting ended with 7 vintages of d’Issan.

D’Issan is one of the finest wines in the appellation and stands out for its exceptional environmental balance, which is reflected in the wine. Here, there are no monoculture vines as far as the eye can see, just mixed farming and biodiversity close to the estuary.

In 2020, Château d’Issan was able to acquire plots of land adjacent to its own vineyard and to Château Margaux. As a result, 3 new grape varieties – Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec – will be added to the blend from the 2020 vintage. This time, it was the 2009 vintage that was presented to the blind tasting. This vintage was notable for its low yield of just 18 hl/ha. Aromas of violets and blackcurrants were present. On the palate, it has great density and smoothness, enhanced by its dynamic freshness. It is also a very fine wine.

Vignobles Cruse-Lorenzetti’s consultant is Eric Boissenot. In an interview Inside La Place, Eric Boissenot,“Inside La Place”, he answered the question about the main challenges of the profession: “To be worthy of the terroir you work in: it’s very important not to do things by halves, to always be up to scratch… To enable the terroirs to be recognised: our work must reveal the terroirs, their intrinsic qualities, I’m just an intermediary… This specific identity brings joy to the teams, ownership…”. Eric Boissenot’s objective has clearly been achieved: these five Cruse-Lorenzetti vineyards stand out for their identity, guaranteed!


Gerda BEZIADE has an incredible passion for wine, and possesses a perfect knowledge of Bordeaux acquired within prestigious wine merchants for 25 years. Gerda joins Roland Coiffe & Associés in order to bring you, through “Inside La PLACE” more information about the estate we sell.