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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Chateau Larcis-Ducasse 2016

  • JS99
  • JD97
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  • WS95
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750ML / 0% ABV
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3.9 5 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 87% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 99
James Suckling
The aromas here are so spellbinding with shitake mushrooms, wet earth and moss, as well as tree bark and, finally, dark fruit. The palate is incredible as it builds and grows with full body, but always tight and reserved. It shows so much depth and complexity. Please try not to touch this until 2025.
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
From one of my favorite estates in Bordeaux, the deeply colored 2016 Château Larcis Ducasse is comprised of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc that was brought up in 50% new French oak. It offers a huge bouquet of black, black fruits, smoked herbs, forest floor, graphite, and underbrush that builds beautifully with time in the glass. Deep, rich, opulent and expansive on the palate, with building tannins, it’s a rich, layered Saint-Emilion as well as another incredible wine from this estate. Give it a few years if you can. It’s capable of keeping for three decades or more.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Larcis Ducasse sashays gracefully out of the glass with beautiful Black Forest cake, red cherry compote, raspberry preserves and blackberry pie scents plus hints of cigar box, Ceylon tea, dried lavender and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers gorgeous red and black fruit preserves flavors with a wonderfully plush texture and very long, perfumed finish.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Features a lovely profile, with caressing edges but a very focused feel, as cassis, plum reduction and blueberry preserve flavors stream through together, flanked by dark tea and singed apple wood notes. A bolt of chalk emerges steadily through the finish, keeping this well-grounded. This will need some time to unwind fully. Best from 2023 through 2038.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This perfumed wine is rich in black fruits bursting with juicy berry flavors and acidity. A dry core promises both good aging potential and great fruitiness. The silky structure is developing well and the wine should be ready to drink from 2024.
D 92
Decanter
This is ripe and well extracted, tight, firm and a little austere, with a note of bitter dark chocolate. It's fresh on the finish, benefitting from its location on the limestone plateau with deeper clay cover in parts of the vineyard, hence the high 95% level of Merlot. This is complemented by 4.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.5% Cabernet Sauvignon with a yield of 48hl/ha, representing 47% of overall production in 2016.
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Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

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Chateau Larcis-Ducasse, 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 Chateau 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

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St-Émilion

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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, Ausone, 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.

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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.

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