Learn everything about Chateau Larcis Ducasse, St. Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe B Bordeaux with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Larcis Ducasse History, Overview
Chateau Larcis Ducasse had its birth during the days of the ancient Romans, who valued the best hillside vineyards in the area. The early part of the modern era for Larcis Ducasse begins in 1893, when Henri Raba bought the Saint Emilion vineyard. After Henri Raba passed away in 1925, his wife and son Andre Raba continued managing Larcis Ducasse.
His niece, Helene Gratiot Alphandery, inherited the property in 1941. She managed Chateau Larcis Ducasse until 1990. Her son, Jacques-Olivier Gratiot took control of the property after she passed away and he remains in charge today.
Chateau Larcis Ducasse remains the property of the Gratiot Alphandery family today. Prior to 2003, it had been years since the wines of Chateau Larcis Ducasse were prized by Bordeaux wine lovers. The wine had fallen out of favor, due to a lack of attention and effort. That changed in 2002 when they hired the team of well-known Saint Emilion consultants, Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt to turn things around and manage the estate.
One of the first improvements at the property suggested by Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt was to create a new drainage system. The next step was to change harvesting practices. Prior to 2002, the grapes were often picked 2 early and over a short duration of 2 to 3 days. Now, the harvest takes place when the fruit is ripe and the picking can take as long as 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all work in the vineyards moved to 1005 organic farming methods.
Chateau Larcis Ducasse Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 10.85 hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Larcis Ducasse is planted to 78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc. This shows a slight change in the vineyard, as more Cabernet Franc has been added to the plantings since 2003. The vineyard is located just around the bend in the road from Chateau Pavie. In fact, their vines abut each other.
They have other good neighbors as well. To the south you find Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Gaffeliere, and as you move north, Chateau Troplong Mondot, Chateau Pavie Macquin are not far away. The terroir of Chateau Larcis Ducasse is a mixture of soils. The vines on the top of plateau and the slopes have a south facing exposure. At the higher elevations on the plateau, the terroir is limestone, clay and chalk soils.
As you travel further down the slopes towards the terraces, the terroir is a blend of chalky limestone, marl, sand, silt and clay soil. At the base of the slopes, you find sand and clay soils. On average the vines are 35 years of age.
While the older plantings were done at a vine density of 6,600 vines per hectare, as the vineyard continues to be slowly replanted, the vine density is increasing with each subsequent replanting. The new plantings are being done at 7,500 vines per hectare. They are also using budwood obtained through selection massale. The yields are kept low at Larcis Ducasse. As an example, in 2009, the effective yields were only 25 hectoliters per hectare.
To produce the wine of Chateau Larcis Ducasse, the grapes are whole berry fermented. The fruit is transported by gravity flow into traditional, cement tanks for fermentation. Cuvaison takes between 25-28 days. There are no pump overs. Pigeages are conducted during fermentation. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel.
The wine of Chateau Larcis Ducasse is then aged in 67% new, French oak barrels, which are mixed in size, between standard barrels and 500 liter French, oak casks. The wine is then aged for an average of 18 to 20 months in barrel before bottling. The production is on average close to 4,000 cases of wine per vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau Larcis Ducasse are: 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2005. Very old vintages are more than variable. However I have tasted good bottles of the 1959. So, if you are planning to buy any, please do so with some caution.
Since the dynamic duo of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt began making the wines, they have continued improving. All one has to do is taste the wines produced at Chateau Larcis Ducasse today and compare the younger wines against the older, pre-2003 vintages to see the difference.
2005 is the best vintage Larcis Ducasse has produced yet. Although 2009, 2010 give it a run for its money and 2015 and 2016 are not far behind. The wines are rich and opulently textured with ripe dark berries, anise, spice and minerality. They have the ability to age and improve. Prices remain fair for a Right Bank estate of this high level of quality.
On average, the production is close to 4,000 cases of Larcis Ducasse per year. There is a second wine, Murmure de Larcis Ducasse.
When to Drink Chateau Larcis Ducasse, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Larcis Ducasse is much better with at least 10-15 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-3 hours, or more. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Larcis Ducassef offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 12-35 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Larcis Ducasse with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Larcis Ducasse is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Larcis Ducasse is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Larcis Ducasse is also good when matched with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms, pasta and of course cheese.
Château Larcis Ducasse Wine Tasting Notes
17 Vintages 175176 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
|2016||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
This is incredibly rich, sensuous, full bodied and deep. Between the tannins and fruit, I cannot decide which is more polished or has more finesse. With lavish textures, waves of fruit and a velvet mouth feel, this is an outstanding wine with tremendous character. Made from a blend of 87% Merlot, harvested October 12 to October 20 and 13% Cabernet Franc, picked on October 18 and 19, the wine reached 14.4% alcohol with a pH of 3.45.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 1928 Views
|2015||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Developing as you would hope, the minerality and florality continue gaining ground The wine keeps adding weight and density. This will hit the top of my range with ease.
Jul 12, 2017points - Tasted 3299 Views
Flowery with stones, licorice and dark red fruits on the nose, there is concentration combined with power, elegance and grace. Not big, but rich, sensuous and mineral driven. The fruits are ripe, spicy and fresh. The luscious finish really keeps on going. Produced from a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.52% alcohol with a pH of 3.42. The harvest took place from September 28 to October 12. Usually priced quite fair, this stunner is a wine to look for during the futures campaign.
Apr 29, 2016points - Tasted 6965 Views
|2014||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Flowers, crushed rocks, hints of truffle and red fruits are the first thing you notice, before moving to softer, polished, plums, a medium bodied palate and fresh, red berries in the finish. I am sure 5 years in the cellar will add a lot to this wine.
Mar 24, 2017points - Tasted 2313 Views
Produced from a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, this wine has a distinctive, mineral profile with licorice and fresh blackberries rounding out the exquisite perfume. On the palate the wine is round, supple, long and fresh, flaunting a unique, outstanding blackberry and plum character. 93-94 Pts
Apr 27, 2015points - Tasted 3804 Views
|2013||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With silky textures, forward character and a sweet, fresh, red cherry core of fruits with mineral essences, this is a Larcis Ducasse to enjoy in its youth while you wait for the 2015 to develop.
May 25, 2016points - Tasted 1953 Views
|2012||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Holding a lot in reserve, flowers, chocolate covered cherries, plum and licorice are right there, if you know where to look. Soft, polished tannins and a ripe, pit fruit filled complete the wine.
Mar 12, 2017points - Tasted 3693 Views
Truffle, mocha and fresh plums and thyme scents lead to a rich, concentrated, polished, lushly textured display of fresh black cherries, crushed stone and licorice. This was starting to close down. Give this a few years to come around, soften and wake up as it should be even better.
Jul 6, 2015points - Tasted 2629 Views
83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc created a wine that pops with crushed stone, flowers and dark berries. Round in texture, the wine ends with a sweet licorice and cherry sensation. 91-94 Pts
Apr 26, 2013points - Tasted 4610 Views
|2011||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Medium bodied, soft, forward and ready to deliver its blackberry, cherry, licorice and coffee bean charms. There is some dryness in the finish that stops the wine from getting a higher score.
Feb 20, 2014points - Tasted 1434 Views
Intense minerality, coffee, flowers, licorice, plum, barbecue and black cherry create the complex perfume. From a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the wine reached 14.4% alcohol. Deep in color, the wine ends with opulent layers of sweet black cherry, mineral and black raspberry liqueur flavors. 94-96 Pts
Apr 24, 2012points - Tasted 3432 Views
|2010||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
With intense aromatics and concentration of flavor, the wine is deep, powerful and long. It’s also filled with mineral essence, cocoa, licorice and ripe plums. The finish really coats your mouth and lasts for more than 40 seconds. But the wine is starting to tighten up. It’s going to need time to come around.
May 8, 2013points - Tasted 12171 Views
Inky in color, with licorice, truffle, black cherry, oak and spice aromas. The palate enjoys, layers of sweet, jammy black fruits, spice, licorice and round tannins. It’s easy to sense the minerality in this wine in the long fresh, black cherry filled finish. This is showing better than it did in April. 96-97 Pts
Jul 6, 2012points - Tasted 6220 Views
Larcis Ducasse The color of dark, purple ink, pungent aromas of crushed stone, fresh ground spice, licorice, and intense jammy berries lead the wine to a powerful, rich, dense, sexy mouthful of opulent, juicy fruit. This wine coats your palate. Long, pure and incredibly rich, this offers competition to the sublime 2005 Larcis Ducasse. 95-97 Pts
Apr 22, 2011points - Tasted 6332 Views
|2009||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Minerality, truffle, fresh plum, earth, round, supple, long, fresh, ripe, sweet, rich, plush in balance. Oh so young, but this is so decadent now, it is hard not to want to pop a cork.
May 3, 2014points - Tasted 6001 Views
From an assemblage of 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc, the wine offers coffee bean, licorice, plum, jam and mineral scents. Medium/full bodied, with soft textures, the wine ends with fresh, sweet, ripe, black and red fruits.
Feb 10, 2012points - Tasted 5906 Views
Minerality, licorice, plum, black raspberry, caramel, smoke and rose petals make up the delicate perfume. In the mouth, this sexy, fleshy, opulent wine delivers layers of juicy plums and ripe black cherries. The wine was bottled May 15.
Jul 30, 2011points - Tasted 5214 Views
2009 Larcis Ducasse, 81% merlot and 19% cabernet franc, is dark purple. Limestone, black raspberry, smoke, and spice aromatics start the wine off. Soft, rich, and full bodied, but lacking the intense concentration found in the remarkable 2005, this rich, sultry wine offers a spice filled, dark fruit and licorice flavored finish. 93-95 Pts
Jun 29, 2010points - Tasted 5455 Views
|2008||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The perfume is filled with floral, black raspberry, cherry, spice, licorice and stone aromas. The wine is rich, supple, fresh and filled with minerality. It needs time to develop.
Jan 25, 2011points - Tasted 6667 Views
08 Château Larcis Ducasse, while not at the level of the stellar 05, is still not far behind its distinguished sibling. Deep, inky color. Intense scents of ripe black and blue fruit, fennel, mineral, and flowers. Full bodied and packed with lush, ripe fruit, this opulently styled St. Emilion is stunning. 93-95 Pts
Jul 1, 2009points - Tasted 7154 Views
|2007||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Drinking great today at 10 years of age. Medium bodied and soft, with polished tannins and sweet, earthy, plum, cherry, thyme and espresso notes. You can enjoy this over the next few years while waiting for bigger vintages like 2005, 2009 and 2010 to develop. The wine was produced from blending 78% Merlot and 22% Cabernet Franc.
Nov 18, 2017points - Tasted 1213 Views
|2006||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
From almost 90% Merlot and the remainder Cabernet Franc, this delicious St. Emilion wine offers stone, licorice, black cherry, cocoa, coffee, smoke and plum scents. Medium/full bodied and not as lush as the wines made in subsequent vintages, this is still a nice Bordeaux wine that will drink well early.
Aug 2, 2011points - Tasted 5194 Views
|2005||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
The best showing ever or this stunning wine. Luscious fruits are all over the place. The wine is pure silk velvet and cashmere, with a finish that does not want to quit. This is so good now, and you can take this to the bank, it is only going to get better from here. Thrilling is apt descriptor, if you're a hedonist like me.
Feb 4, 2017points - Tasted 6006 Views
Deep ruby in color, with blast of fresh, sweet, vibrant, juicy, mouthful , fleshy, supple berries, silky textures and a lively finish that is just getting started. Drink this now, or give it a few more years for additional layers of softness and complexity.
Jun 28, 2015points - Tasted 4593 Views
An hour of decanting would have helped this bottle. Still, it was hard not to find the licorice, sweet boysenberry, chocoalte, earth and truffle, all wrapped up in a silky, elegant, velvety bow. The wine was produced from a blend of 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Oct 31, 2014points - Tasted 4378 Views
Liquid sex in a bottle. That says it all. For those that want a bit more detail, this beautiful wine is packed with layer after layer of ripe, deep, luscious, sensuous fruit, ripe, silky tannins and the perfect combination of polish, finesse and power. If you like young wines, pop a cork. If you prefer age and secondary nuances, give it another 5-8 more years.
Nov 15, 2013points - Tasted 4762 Views
The perfume of melted blackberry and plums with hints of fennel and raspberry is seductive. But, the fireworks really start when the rubber meets the road, or should I say, when the wine hits your palate? Multiple layers of decadent, fat, sexy, lush, ripe St. Emilion fruit grace your palate in endless waves of flavor. The best way to describe this Bordeaux wine is... it is akin to pouring liquid heaven over your palate. This is very polished and velvety with insane levels of concentration.
Nov 9, 2010points - Tasted 8059 Views
This Bordeaux wine is so incredibly rich, you could eat it or drink it. Everything is in balance. Very sexy, opulent and exotic. This St. Emilion wine has it all. This takes decadence to new levels.
Jun 24, 2009points - Tasted 7090 Views
This Bordeaux is so plush, dense and concentrated, it's almost scary. This has everything a wine lover desires in a wine. This is packed and stacked with incredible levels of opulent, ripe, sexy fruit. The aromatics start the fireworks off, but the silken fruit bath your palate enjoys is the real fireworks.
Jan 20, 2008points - Tasted 8146 Views
|2004||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
As is often how it goes, the last bottle from the case was the best. Still youthful in color, the nose offers chocolate fudge, black cherry, truffle and floral notes. Silky and fresh, with plenty of sweet, dark red fruits in the finish, the only thing holding this back, is a lack of hangtime in the finish. Decanted 30 minutes, this was rocking! On to my case of 2005!
Jan 8, 2018points - Tasted 696 Views
Spicy red and black berries, stone and licorice add to the mineral driven, easy to drink character. There is no reason not to be popping corks on this wine, as it's drinking great today.
Nov 30, 2014points - Tasted 2829 Views
The second vintage after the estate starting hitting it right is in the sweet spot. Licorice, truffle, black cherry, coffee bean crushed stone notes open to a soft, silky, medium/full bodied ripe, round wine with a lot of character.
Mar 25, 2013points - Tasted 2555 Views
With good color, the nose offers minerality, sweet dark plums, blackberry, earth, licorice and dark cherries. Soft textured, concentrated and round, the minerality of the terroir comes through. Give it another 2-3 more years to allow this St. Emilion to develop additional complexities.
Sep 19, 2012points - Tasted 4134 Views
Smoke, coffee, licorice, jam, cassis, minerality and herbs, full bodied and concentrated, but a bit monolithic. The wine ends with black cherry liqueur and a touch of green olive tapenade.
Aug 20, 2011points - Tasted 4076 Views
This wine remains deeply colored. In the nose, minerality, jammy berries, coco powder, licorice and kirsch. Full bodied and soft textured, this still youthful wine ends with a blast of dark cherry and espresso. There is a slight hint of bitterness or green in the finish. A few more years will add additional flesh and complexity to the wine.
Jun 14, 2010points - Tasted 4937 Views
|2003||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
While the textures are soft, the fruit is rapidly fading. Drink up.
Dec 18, 2013points - Tasted 2547 Views
Slightly more interesting on the nose than the palate, the wine offers smoke, licorice, truffle, chocolate covered plums and earthy scents. In the mouth, this sweet, ripe, spicy, black cherry dominated wine feels great on the finish. This is ready to drink.
Aug 20, 2012points - Tasted 3461 Views
|1975||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
More on the secondary side, with its earthy and tobacco character, followed by semi tart red fruits in the finish.
Jul 8, 2017points - Tasted 1026 Views
|1966||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
Classic and traditional, the wine had this fabulous, tobacco, earth, wet forest floor and cherry nose, but on the palate, the wine had fruit but the rustic tannins and stern finish took away from the overall experience. Still, it was fun too taste.
Apr 14, 2017points - Tasted 1021 Views
|1959||Château Larcis Ducasse (St. Émilion Grand Cru)|
What a treat! Served double blind, it was easy to enjoy the sweet, cherries, earth, tobacco and spice that led to the medium bodied, supple, soft, earthy wine. No decanting needed, or wanted. If you own a bottle, just pull the cork and enjoy this great piece of history.
Mar 26, 2017points - Tasted 1273 Views