Château Larcis Ducasse 2020
• 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 protégé, 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 2020 Larcis Ducasse has a deep purple-black color, leaping from the glass with bold notions of redcurrant jelly, plum preserves, kirsch and red roses, followed by hints of licorice, fragrant earth and spice cake, with a touch of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with fragrant red berries and profound black fruit preserves, supported by ripe, rounded tannins and lovely tension, finishing very long and fantastically layered. Absolutely, stunningly singular." Lisa Perotti-Brown, May 2021 Week 3: The Wine Advocate, (05/20/2021) Rating: 96-98 Drink: 2026-2050
"Great consistency over the past few years at this property but this is really stepping things up a level. With poise and depth of flavour, we are digging down through the layers. Extremely elegant, a wine that is precise and pared back and totally delicious. You can almost feel the points of minerality poking into your tongue, but then they melt into a softer more luxurious whole, with blackberry, cassis and black chocolate. Great stuff. Tasted several times, and every time it shows itself to be something out of the ordinary. A brilliant wine that I thoroughly recommend getting hold of. 50% new oak. A yield of 38.5hl/ha. Owned by Famille Gratiot-Attmane, but with the Nicolas Thienpont team overseeing winemaking." Jane Anson, Decanter, Best Saint-Émilion Wines Tasted En Primeur, (04/30/2021) Rating: 97
"A wine that’s going to flirt with perfection is the 2020 Château Larcis Ducasse. It’s a Saint-Emilion with an almost Pomerol-like depth and power paired with classic Saint-Emilion aromatics and minerality. Incredibly pure notes of black cherries, blackberries, white flowers, truffle, and leafy herb notes all emerge on the nose and it’s full-bodied, with a layered, multi-dimensional texture, thrilling tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. If you get a chance, buy it. The blend is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, aging in 55% new French oak." Jeb Dunnuck, Bordeaux 2020: En Primeur Part 1, (05/23/2021) Rating: 96-99
"The 2020 Larcis Ducasse captures all the pedigree of the year in its savory, mineral-driven personality. Graphite, dried herbs, lavender, spice and menthol lend striking aromatic intensity. The 2020 is a rich, deep wine, yet it retains the classic midweight sense of structure that is a signature of the estate. The 2020 is quite simply a dazzling Larcis." Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Rating: 95-97
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