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Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018

  • V95
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  • RP93
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 95
Vinous
The 2018 Grand Puy Ducasse is gorgeous. In fact, the 2018 is one of the most polished and refined recent vintages I can remember tasting for a wine that up until recently was much darker and more extracted in style. The purity of the fruit is simply striking, while the explosive energy in the glass is a thing of beauty. It will be fascinating to see where the 2018 goes, but there is little question that this style towards more elegance driven by Technical Director Anne Le Naour and consulting oenologist Hubert de Bouärd is hugely appealing. The 2018 is 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot. Tasted two times.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Lovely, featuring a beautiful beam of pure cassis, lined with iron, savory and tobacco notes. The long finish really glistens.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Showing fine, rich dark berry flavors, this is a structured wine that has concentration. It comes from an estate that seems to have come together well.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
JS 94
James Suckling
This is really solid with a dense and deep palate of ripe fruit and chewy tannins. Muscular for this cru. Full-bodied yet energetic and intense.
Barrel Sample: 93-94
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
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Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse

Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse

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Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse, France
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Arnaud Ducasse purchased a small house along the Gironde estuary from Jacques de Ségur, Lord of Lafite, in the mid-17th century. He could not have known that this would become the heart of a large estate that would stay in his family for nearly three centuries.

The estate's true "inventor" was Pierre Ducasse, a lawyer who was passionately interested in wine. He bought land in the city of Pauillac and a part of the "bordieu de Grand-Puy", which spread out over three parishes (Pauillac, Saint Lambert and Beycheville). Pierre Ducasse's son built the current chateau on the site of his ancestors' house in the early 19th century.

This chateau is highly unusual in that it is located in the heart of Pauillac. Included in the famous 1855 classification, and benefiting from the rich diversity of some of the finest vineyard land in Pauillac, Grand-Puy Ducasse is one of the leaders of this appellation. This great wine is made with the utmost care and the most up-to-date technological methods.

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Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

MCYF528678_2018 Item# 528678