Chateau Larcis-Ducasse 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Baked-plum aromas., together with candied spices, earth, tobacco and light coffee, following through to a full body with firm yet polished tannins and a fresh, vivid finish. It really builds and shows loads of structure and intensity. Give it time to soften slightly, but the flavors and texture are already balanced and sophisticated. Classic style to this. The palate really builds. Try after 2026.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
The 2019 Larcis Ducasse has turned out beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of cherries, wild berries, burning embers, spices and licorice. Full-bodied, sumptuous and enveloping, with a fleshy core of fruit, ripe tannins and succulent acids, it's a giving, generous wine that's softer and rounder than Pavie Macquin, its stablemate. This beautiful vineyard, managed by Nicolas Thienpont, is located on the limestone slopes of Saint-Émilion, sandwiched between Pavie and Belle font-Belcier. Best After 2023
Moving to the Grand Vin, the 2019 Château Larcis Ducasse sports a deep ruby/plum color as well as a reserved bouquet of ripe black cherries, leafy tobacco, graphite, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated, with clean, ripe tannins, it's holding things relatively close to its vest and is going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age. I don't see it matching the greats from this estate, but it's a beautiful wine. The blend is 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, and there are just under 3,000 cases produced. Best after 2027.
Barrel Sample: 94
Lushly layered with dark plum, fig and blackberry compote flavors, this is inlaid with singed alder and licorice root notes. Sports a burst of tobacco and warm earth hints through the finish, all while the fruit keeps pace. A lingering echo of violet is a sign of some buried purity as well. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2025.
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
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.