Chateau Larcis Ducasse St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

larcis ducasse 300x224 Chateau Larcis Ducasse St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

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.

Larcis 300x225 Chateau Larcis Ducasse St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

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

2016Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97 pts

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.

97 points - Tasted
2015Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97 pts

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.

97 points - Tasted

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.

97 points - Tasted
2014Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)93 pts

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.

93 points - Tasted

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

93 points - Tasted
2013Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)92 pts

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.

92 points - Tasted
2012Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)93 pts

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.

93 points - Tasted

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.

93 points - Tasted

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

93 points - Tasted
2011Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)94 pts

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.

90 points - Tasted

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

94 points - Tasted
2010Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97 pts

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.

97 points - Tasted

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

96 points - Tasted

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

96 points - Tasted
2009Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)94 pts

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.

94 points - Tasted

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.

93 points - Tasted

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.

94 points - Tasted

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

94 points - Tasted
2008Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)94 pts

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.

93 points - Tasted

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

94 points - Tasted
2007Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)91 pts

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.

91 points - Tasted
2006Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)90 pts

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.

90 points - Tasted
2005Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)99 pts

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.

99 points - Tasted

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.

96 points - Tasted

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.

96 points - Tasted

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.

97 points - Tasted

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.

98 points - Tasted

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.

97 points - Tasted

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.

97 points - Tasted
2004Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)93 pts

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!

93 points - Tasted

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.

89 points - Tasted

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.

92 points - Tasted

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.

92 points - Tasted

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.

90 points - Tasted

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.

92 points - Tasted
2003Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)90 pts

While the textures are soft, the fruit is rapidly fading. Drink up.

86 points - Tasted

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.

90 points - Tasted
1975Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)82 pts

More on the secondary side, with its earthy and tobacco character, followed by semi tart red fruits in the finish.

82 points - Tasted
1966Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)87 pts

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.

87 points - Tasted
1959Château Larcis Ducasse  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)93 pts

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.

93 points - Tasted