Château Larcis Ducasse 2019
• Domaine: Château Larcis Ducasse
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Premier Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
Château Larcis Ducasse is a Saint Émilion Premiere Grand Crus Classés Class B estate that has been described as, “a garden a world apart.” If one were fortunate enough to visit this stunning and picturesque property with vines graced by laurel and fig trees, one would understand this phrase perfectly. The grand vin is crafted here with the precision and expertise that many would ascribe to a fine jeweler and the resulting wine is excellent. With the combination of its impeccable terroir and the craftsmen who tend to it, Château Larcis Ducasse is one of the Right Bank’s treasures.
Château Larcis Ducasse had a long history that dated back to the Roman era. Even the ancient vignerons were seduced by the promise of the checkerboard of terroirs that give the estate such appeal. Château Larcis Ducasse received its namesake in 1893 during the modern era when Henri Raba purchased the property at the time. Henri Raba spent vast sums of his fortune to maintain the striking vineyards and would stop at nothing to ensure the grand vin was of top quality. After Henri passed, his wife Emilie and her son took control of the estate. The property was largely unknown to most connoisseurs until the family hired Nicolas Thienpont to manage the property with his prodigy David Suire. Together they made sweeping changes to the vineyards, such as transitioning Château Larcis Ducasse over to 100% Organic Farming methods in 2005. In 2012, Château Larcis Ducasse received the high honor of earning its Premiere Grand Crus Classés Classification alongside other illustrious châteaux like Château Valandraud, Château Trotte Vieille and many other esteemed properties. It was a happy ending indeed for an estate with such a long-lived history.
Château Larcis Ducasse hosts 11.3 hectares of vines that are planted with 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc. Over the years, more Cabernet Franc has been added. The property is very close from the legendary producer, Château Pavie. The terroir is described as a “checkerboard,” of varying terroirs. One can find a mixture of varying soils like limestone, clay and chalk that the 35 year old vines thrive in. Nicolas Thienpont ensures that the team over at Château Larcis Ducasse maintains lower yields to ensure higher ripeness levels. The winery is a gravity flow operation, and they use a lot of Burgundian techniques to create a fresh and soft wine. After they are vinified, they are subsequently aged in French oak barriques for about 18 to 20 months before bottling. For those who love a rich and mineral Saint-Émilion, Château Larcis Ducasse is a phenomenal, opulently textured wine. One can absolutely expect the minerality that is so synonymous with that region. But in addition to that, the wines have a very pleasant, fruity, and ripe quality to them. It is best to age a bottle of Château Larcis Ducasse for about ten to fifteen years prior to enjoying it. With all that in mind, younger vintages can be decanted for two to three hours.
"The 2019 Larcis Ducasse is deep purple in colour. The bouquet is opulent and ravishing with precocious dark cherry, cassis and crushed violet aromas that seem to envelop the senses, "hug them into submissions!" The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that manage to exert good grip, though you only notice that after the wine has exited. Great depth, touches of ash and black pepper infusing the black fruit with unerring balance on the finish. This is an outstanding Saint-Émilion with 30-40 years of pleasure to give." - Neal Martin, vinous (June 2020), Ratings: 95-97, Drink: 2024-2055
"Composed of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Larcis Ducasse was harvested from the 25th of September to the 7th of October. Yields were 38.5 hectoliters per hectare this year, with around 70% of production going into the grand vin. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sails out of the glass with effortlessly graceful notes of fresh blackberries, warm red and black plums and mulberries plus hints of cedar chest, potpourri, powdered cinnamon and clove oil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is quite tightly wound, giving glimpses of spice and mineral layers among the black fruits and firm, rounded tannins, finishing with bags of freshness and energy. About 2,850 cases are anticipated to be made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/17/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 95-97
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