Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 2018
• Domaine: Château Grand-Puy Ducasse
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Fifth Growth, 5ème Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Grand-Puy Ducasse is a future star estate with humble origins. This Fifth Growth Pauillac property produces excellent wines that exemplify Pauillac terroir, without the hefty price tag.
At Château Grand-Puy Ducasse, Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of the show. Château Grand-Puy Ducasse is a unique estate, because the château is separated from some of its vineyards which are scattered throughout some of the best terroirs of Pauillac. Vines here are neighbors with some of the top classified growths, such as Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Lafite Rothschild in Northern Pauillac. To the South, the vines are close to the Super Second stunner, Château Pichon Longueville Baron. The wines of this estate are strong and tannic forces to be reckoned with, needing a bit of time in the cellar before they can be enjoyed. But trust us, they are definitely worth waiting for.
The story of Château Grand-Puy Ducasse has a simple start. In the mid 1600s, Arnaud Ducasse bought a small house on the banks of the Gironde from Jacques de Ségur. For those who know their history, the surname, “Ségur,” is an important one. Jacques de Ségur happens to be the grandfather of the legendary Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, who was known as, “The Wine Prince,” for owning Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Calon Segur. Pierre Ducasse, his descendant, purchased parcels of land throughout the Pauillac and continued snapping up some of the choicest bits of land until his death at the end of the 18th Century. The estate was 60-hectares by the time it was classified as a Fifth Growth in 1855. But it wasn’t until just shy of a century later that the company Grand-Puy Ducasse was founded in 1932.
As of 2004 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse was acquired by CA Grands Crus, a company that owns the illustrious Saint-Estèphe estate, Château Meyney. They made several changes to the estate including bringing in Hubart de Boüard of Château Angélus in Saint Émilion to consult. In addition to bringing on some top-notch talent, they also began to experiment with implementing new technology like optical sorting practices prior to vinification of the wines. At the property, the grapes are a bit on the younger side, coming in at approximately 25 years old. They are harvested by hand and fermented in stainless steel tanks and some of the wine is aged in barrel. The grand vin then spends a significant period of time in French Oak barrels prior to being bottled.
The wines of Château Grand-Puy Ducasse are described as supple, fruit forward, with the potential to age for about 10-15 years. At the current pricing, Château Grand-Puy Ducasse is without a doubt one of the better Pauillac values out there. Though it is one of the more obscure Pauillac properties, that does not mean the critics aren’t paying attention. Given the sweeping changes they have been implementing in terms of their viticultural team and embracing new technology, the future for this up-and-coming producer looks bright.
"The 2018 Grand-Puy Ducasse is just as impressive as it was en primeur. Readers will find a heady, richly textured Pauillac loaded with character. Technical Director Anne Le Naour and consulting oenologist Hubert de Bouäd coaxed tremendous richness from the 2018 while avoiding some of the excesses of the recent past. The result is a wine that delivers on all levels. Succulent dark cherry, plum, mint, licorice, sweet spice and a touch new oak build into a striking crescendo on the lush, persistent finish." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous (3/2021), Ratings: 94, Drink: 2028-2043
"The 2018 Grand-Puy-Ducasse is deep garnet-purple in color and has quite a lot of cedar/oak on the nose to begin, opening out to a core of warm black and red currants, stewed plums and mulberries with touches of pencil shavings, fried herbs, lavender and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, the palate gives a firm, grainy frame with some chew from the oak and fresh, crunchy red and black fruit, finishing savory." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate (4/23/2019), Ratings: 91-93
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