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Chateau Larcis-Ducasse 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • CG94
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines are planted according to the profile of each vineyard. The final blend features well-balanced, characterful flavors and fine tannin. Sustainable viticulture practices coupled with low yields, gentle fermentation, and barrel ageing adapted to each vintage reflect all the elegance and personality of this great terrior.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This great terroir on the Cote Pavie has long been recognized as one of the most privileged spots in St.-Emilion, but it was not until the wunderkind duo of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt took over in 2002 that the wine finally began to live up to its potential. Old timers who remember the 1945 Larcis Ducasse will attest to how great this cuvee can be. Sadly, fewer than 3,000 cases were produced of the 2005, a blend of 78% Merlot and the rest primarily Cabernet Franc with a small dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon. Yields were a modest 27 hectoliters per hectare. This stunning effort reveals one of the most extraordinary aromatic displays of the vintage, offering up notes of sweet roasted herbs, jus du viande, black olives, espresso roast, creme de cassis, and kirsch liqueur. Extremely full-bodied, opulent, and lavishly textured with plush tannin as well as an ethereal elegance, a sublime personality, glorious sweet purity, and a layered texture, this amazing St.-Emilion is destined to become a legend.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
This is very grapey, with plenty of crushed blackberry and vanilla undertones, and floral as well. Full-bodied, soft and silky. Gushes with fruit. Hard not to drink this now, but give it some time. The fruit is amazing. Such purity. Best after 2014. 3,080 cases made.
CG 94
Connoisseurs' Guide
While its Grand Cru classification places it in only the third tier of the St. Emilion hierarchy of quality, this intense, wonderfully rich wine is packed with sweet, well-ripened fruit and does a fine job at managing 2005 tannin. So succulent and fleshy that it could be drunk alongside juicy beef dishes right now, it has all the pieces in place to improve for at least another ten years.
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Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

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Chateau Larcis-Ducasse, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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In the 18th century, the Raba family, living in Bordeaux, made their fortune in commerce and maritime transport and in 1893, Henri Raba, a lover of great wines, bought Chateau Larcis Ducasse. His passion led him to invest a great part of his fortune in the Château and at his death in 1925, his wife and then his son Andre kept the flame burning. André died during the war, leaving no children, thus it was his niece, Hélène Gratiot Alphandéry, who inherited the property in 1941. She in her turn managed the property along with cellar-master Pharaon Roche and her son, Jacques Olivier Gratiot, director with l’Oréal and member of the Jurade, became manager in 1990. Under his guidance, the long tradition of quality that characterised the wines of Larcis Ducasse was not only maintained but also improved.

Chateau Larcis Ducasse is still in the hands of the Gratiot Alphandery family and since 2002 the property has been under the management of Nicolas Thienpont

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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.

MRF120340_2005 Item# 120340