Jane Anson, in her Bordeaux 2020 En-Primeur report, said if you were to buy only one wine, it should be Larcis-Ducasse. When I tasted it, what stood out was the bright, vibrant red fruits and the acidity of the wine. And I guess, what more could you possibly want from a wine still in barrel? This is probably the best vintage to buy Larcis-Ducasse as the prices will steadily start increasing until it becomes a luxury product.
Chateau Larcis-Ducasse St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2020 is sold En-Primeur. You order and pay now, to receive the En-Primeur pricing. You will receive the wine in mid-late 2023
Larcis-Ducasse is 11.3 hectares in some of the prime real estate of St-Emilion. It is neighbours to Pavie, Canon La Gaffeliere, Troplong Mondot. The family had not been giving it much love for many years. But Larcis-Ducasse had its revival starting in 2002 and 2003. With Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt as consultants, they changed drainage, harvesting, and added organics. The winemaking was re-vamped too. From 2005 the wines at Larcis-Ducasse have been steadily improving to a point where they are some of the best in Bordeaux each year.
The wines as Larcis-Ducasse are ripe, oaky, intense and silky. The modern wines are perfect for mid-term aging.
Chateau Larcis-Ducasse St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2020 Wine Review
“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. Drinking Window 2028 – 2046”
Situated near the Atlantic coast of France. The Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers provide its shape. Cool conditions and frequent rainfall, including during harvest time, make Bordeaux quite a marginal region with vintages frequently ruined by rain or saved from the rain at the last minute by timely sunshine.
With approximately 5400 hectares planted, it is a vast appellation with a few distinct personalities. Like the famous neighbour Pomerol, the wines are Merlot dominant and offer the silk, perfume and charm that Merlot can give. The best of the wines will live as long as, if not longer than, most Left Bank wines and often cost two or three times more.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid, but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Cabernet Franc is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux. But also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highly aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is pretty special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product. This includes the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. This is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.