I’m opening my last bottle of the 03 Larcis Ducasse after recently reading a couple of professional write ups about the wines fruit fading and to drink up. I did not find that to be the case w/ my last bottle. I found the wine to be around it’s peak form with another 5 years plus ahead. On the nose; menthol, eucalyptus, ripe; dark cherries, cherries, blackberries, plum, poached & candied strawberries, notes of blue fruits, black raspberries, cherry cola, touch herbaceous; sage & bay leaf, limestone & rich, moist, black, turned earth, crushed dry rocks, graphite, dry soil/clay with dry & fresh dark florals. The body is medium full. Tannins are 75-80% resolved. The length, structure, tension & balance are right where I’d expect them to be and are quite enjoyable. The palate is very similar to the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus, ripe; dark cherries, cherries, blackberries, plum, poached & candied strawberries, notes of blue fruits, black raspberries, cherry cola, touch herbaceous; sage & bay leaf, limestone & rich, moist, black, turned earth, crushed dry rocks, dry & very grippy, edgy minerals, Montecristo cigar, graphite, dry soil/clay with dry & fresh dark florals. The acidity is lovely and the long finish is well balanced with an even tug of war between fruit & earth with the dry earth dominate on the long set. Photos of; of their great southern exposed sunny hillside vineyard, the old craved stone entrance and Nicolas Thienpont & Stephane Derenoncourt. Producer notes & history...Chateau Larcis Ducasse began 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. Then 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 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 them was to create a new drainage system. The next step was to change harvesting practices. Prior to 2002, the grapes were often picked too early and over a very short duration of 2 to 3 days. Now, the harvest takes place when the fruit is ripe and picking can take as long as 2 to 3 weeks. Starting with the 2005 vintage, all work in the vineyards moved to 100% organic farming methods. 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 but up against each other. They are surrounded by more good producers. To the south, is Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere and La Gaffeliere, and as you move north, Chateau Troplong Mondot and Chateau Pavie. 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. 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 averages close to 4,000 cases depending on what the vintage gives. — a day ago
Is there anything better than Ribeye & Claret? From my perspective, no. This is the second wine from one of more prestigious Chateaus in St. Estephe. Bordeaux rule number 2, buy the hell out of good producers second wines in very good vintages, like 2005. You’ll get great wines at more affordable prices. Providing, you exercise patience; which is rule number 1. Decanted for 3 plus hours. On the nose, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, baked strawberries, black plum & cherries pull up the rear. Incense, herbaceous character, anise, scorched dark earth, burnt ambers, anise, baking spices dominated by vanilla, black tea, black cherry cola, loamy dry soils, dry & fresh red florals with violets for days. It’s in a great phase with many years ahead. The body is full and round. The texture has you wanting more. It’s velvety and ripe. Tannins soft and powdery, around 65-70 resolved. The fruits are ripe & ruby...showing the excellence of the 05 vintage. Blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, baked strawberries, black plum & cherries pull up the rear. Incense, herbaceous character, anise, scorched dark earth, dry stones, leather, cigar with ash, burnt ambers, anise, baking spices dominated by vanilla, black tea, black cherry cola, loamy dry soils, dry & fresh red florals with violets for days. The acidity is dead on. The length, structure, length & balance is harmonizing like America on the album, “ Horse with No Name.” The long finish is; ruby, rich, elegant, round, beautiful and lasts a minute plus. Beautiful wine. 9.4 with the steak. 9.2 on its own. Photos of; Chateau Cos d’ Estournel, hosting/tasting area, private wine stock and barrel cellar. Producer notes and history...Chateau Cos d’Estournel has a long history in the appellation of St. Estephe. Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, gave his name to the estate after founding it in 1811. It only took a few years before Chateau Cos d’Estournel became famous with wine lovers and royalty all over the world. In the early days, the wines of Cos d’Estournel were not sold through the Negociant system. The owner preferred selling his wine directly to his customers. In fact, Chateau Cos d’Estournel was exported to numerous countries across the globe, with a large portion of the production being sold to India. It was that connection to India that inspired much of the unique, east Indian design we see at Cos d’Estournel today. Chateau Cos d’Estournel was one of the first Chateaus to bottle, label and sell their own wine. This practice continued until the death of Louis Gaspard d’Estournel in 1852. After his death, the estate was purchased by an owner that sold their wines on the Place de Bordeaux, using the negociant system. If the Chateau had not been selling their wines through the negociant system, it would never have been included in the 1855 Classification! Chateau Cos d’Estournel was sold to the Charmolue family, the owners of the neighboring Chateau Montrose. They continued to own the estate until 1917, when it was bought by Fernand Ginestet. The purchase was the next major step in the development of Cos d’Estournel. The next era in the development of Chateau Cos d’Estournel took place in 2000, when Chateau Cos d’Estournel was bought by Michel Reybier, who made his fortune in the food industry. Michel Reybier hired the son of Bruno Prats, Jean-Guillaume Prats to manage Cos d’Estournel. Things improved with the efforts of Jean-Guillaume Prats who helped design the most modern wine making facilities in the entire Bordeaux wine making appellation at the time. A complete renovation of Cos d’Estournel took place in the winemaking facilities and cellars. The wine making facilities are completely modern, using 100% gravity. On October 15, 2012, Jean Guillaume Prats announced he was leaving Chateau Cos d’Estournel to join LVMH. Jean Guillaume Prats was replaced by Aymeric de Gironde. Following the departure of Aymeric de Gironde in 2017, the owner, Michel Reybier took over managing the estate. In 2018, the estate released COS100, produced from their oldest Merlot vines that were 100 years of age. It was limited in production to a 100 Jeroboams, (3 litres) and 10 Balthazars (12 litres) and a few other sizes were produced from only 2 barrels of wine. The proceeds from COS100 go to the charity, Elephant Family, that is devoted to protecting and nurturing Asian elephants in their own, natural habitat. Cos d’Estournel’s new cellar is a joint reflection by the technical team, the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Jean Guillaume Prats. It’s a marvel blend of simplicity and modern technology. Cos d’Estournel is unique to Bordeaux and the rest of world. What makes this special is that the cellars of Cos d’Estournel are entirely operated by gravity. There are no pumps of any kind to force the wine. The purpose is to allow a gentleness to the wine and improve its purity allowing for expression of their special terroir. It set a new benchmark for cellars not only in the Left Bank, but in all of Bordeaux. The new cellars at Chateau Cos d’Estournel include 72 isothermal cone shaped stainless steel vats. The vats are specifically designed for thermal inertia. The 72 vats have a wide range of capacities to correspond with the needs of each parcel of vines. The vats range in size from as small as 19 hectoliters all the way up to 115 hectolitres. 12 of the smaller vats that are designed to handle between 19 and 60 hectoliters that have two levels in each vat. In other words, this offers the technical equivalent of 24 separate vats. Each of the vats are double lined, which allows for more exact and temperature control. None of the vats use interior heat coils. Perhaps the most inventive part of the cellars is the four 100 hectoliter lift tanks or wine elevators that replace the pumps used in the traditional pumping over and racking off processes, which introduce air and often destabilize the marc. From the moment the grapes arrive, everything travels by the flow of gravity. Jean Guillaume Prats called this process a pumpless, pump over. What takes place is, the wine is released from the main vat where the skins remain. By gravity, the juice is then moved into smaller vats which are on wheels. These small vats are sent to the glass elevators where they are moved up one floor and returned back into the vat by gravity to cover the skins. At this point, the process is still unique to Chateau Cos d’Estournel. The wine production of Cos d’Estournel is labor intensive starting the moment the grapes enter their new facility. The berries travel through a tunnel that instantly lowers the temperature of the fruit to 3-5 degrees Celsius. This sudden chilling stops the loss of juice while also slowing oxidation. Next, the grapes are cold macerated at 7-9 degrees Celsius for about a week. Pump overs are done by gravity recycling. The juice from the top of the vat moves to the bottom of the vat entirely by gravity. The fermentation takes place at low temperatures to avoid over extraction or harsh tannins. The 91 hectare vineyard of Chateau Cos d’Estournel is planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The vineyard is located close to the border of Pauillac and Saint Estephe at the southern tip of the Saint Estephe appellation. The vineyard has cultivated 84 hectares of vines. Even though the vineyard has been expanded over the years, the grape varietals planted here have remained consistent. The vineyard, located on the hill of Cos, has gentle elevations of up to 20 meters. On average, the vines are 35 years of age. However, the estate has very old Merlot vines as well, which date back more than 100 years. Part of the terroir is situated on the hill of Cos, which is at a high elevation for the Medoc at 20 meters. Cos d’Estournel is translated from old Gascon speech; which means the hill of pebbles. It describes the terroir along with clay, gravel, sand and limestone soil. However, there is a unique aspect to the soil at Cos d’Estournel, as you find more gravel and less clay here than you do at other neighboring vineyards. Because the fruit is grown close to the Atlantic ocean in a cool climate, Cos d’Estournel is often among the last of the properties in the Medoc to harvest. The vineyard is managed by teams and each team member is given 45,000 vines to look after. The vineyard, which is almost one large block, can be further divided into 72 separate parcels. — 8 days ago
Saturday night and it is time for a 5th Growth Bordeaux the 2001 Chateau DuTertre. This Chateau is one of the oldest on the Left Bank. A very nice well balanced wine at 17 years of age.
On the nose there is good dark fruit black cherry, blackberry, black currant, black pepper, licorice, violets and dark rich earth.
The palate the dark fruit continues with good black cherry, blackberry, black currant, black pepper, the herbal notes come through real nice, a bit of leather, and rich tilled soil.
The wine is medium to full bodied with medium acidity and medium smooth tannins that lead into a long dark fruit finish. An enjoyable Bordeaux that still has another 5 to 10 years ahead of it. Continued enjoying your weekend and please be safe. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷 — 9 hours ago
A yum 01 @ £74 that is singing right now with a sexual nose teasing tickle 😍
🍇 63.5 % Cab S, 33.5 % Mer & 3 % Cab F
🍷 Opaque ruby
👃 Deep rich tantalising smokey oaky blackcurrant plummy plump squishy earthy oozy nasal tease w/ minerals, pencil lead, leather, herbs & mocha
👄 Med body of silky cream dark plum & blackcurrant in a mocha liquorice w/ a touch of dry minerals
🎯 Med+ dark berry bang w/ a liquorice mocha mineral smooth kiss — 3 hours ago
So impressed with this gift from my close bud @Martin G Rivard. I’ve never heard of this, and boy, I’ve missed out! This is a contemporary-styled Bdx, which tilts towards the Francophiles amongst us.
The nose is dark and brooding with licorice, sage and tobacco. The palette is plush and semi-sweet. Lovely blackberries, brambles and plum fruits. Built for the long-haul, consume now, or over the next 10 years - outstanding!
Thanks so much, Martin 😍 — a day ago
Ooo-LaLa!! Went to a private equity tasting where money is not an issue. Intense aromas of red/blue and dark berries, with a distinctive graphite nose. Shows full fruit flavors of cherries, plums and blackberries with sweet cacao and smoky cedar. Well developed, rich, delicate and soft tannins with balanced alcohol and acidity. The finish was complex, elegant and enjoyable, giving mineral nuances with good length. Perfect! Tasting Sample! — 5 days ago
The 1855 classification recognized the quality of Duhart-Milon's soil by ranking it as the only 4th growth wine in Pauillac. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Merlot. Had this a year ago, it’s still nice! Wonderful red fruit aromas and subtle spice scents. On the palate blackberry and currants, pepper notes, tobacco and cacao, complex, generous acidity, silky tannins on a lingering finish ending with mineral notes, Wow! — 5 days ago
Scampi NYC is a popular new Southern Italian influenced restaurant in Manhattan's Flatiron district, led by a chef whose previous gigs included Ai Fiori (good food, corporate vibe) and The Spaniard (don't look beyond the burger). The extensive wine list was put together by @Kimberly Prokoshyn, former head somm at Rebelle and stalwart of many a La Festa del Barolo. The list's main strength is its reasonably priced back vintages from Bordeaux and Burgundy - of all possible strengths, that's about as good as it gets.
My father in law's birthday made for the ideal occasion to visit. The restaurant is loud but not quite excessively. Dishes are all designed to share and range from delicious light dishes, of which the fluke crudo was a highlight, to more hearty fare such the half chicken and rib eye steak. The pastas were innovative, rich and addictively good.
Our first wine was a 2003 Gruard Larose. It is rich and ripe, mocha, black fruits and leather. It sustains nicely while the tannins are pleasingly resolved. It's probably about as good as this wine will get. The power of this Bordeaux stood up well to the vivid flavors of the cuisine, and was a dream with the campanelle with fennel sausage.
The appetite was whetted for the next bottle...
— 2 days ago
This wine is in a really good spot right now. Pours dark blood red, some maroon tinge noted at the meniscus. The nose is grilled meat, plum, fig, ripe black cherry, perfume. Dang.... The entry of this wine still shows AMPLE fruit, a touch youthful. Cherry blossom perfume, black cherry core, a touch of earth, almost a slight essence of cocoa powder, very weighty and even slightly acidic. The front was more of black cherry fruit, middle more of a plum and fig. The finish is lengthy, includes ample fruit, tannin, black pepper, and finishes for about 60 seconds at the least. Dang! Rating of 95 easily here. — 6 days ago
Fab @ £46 drink well now but will improve with age 92-94 rounded up on value 👍
🍇 48% Cab S, 48% Merlot & 4% Pet V
🍷 Opaque ruby
👃 Flinty, gravel & mineral through earthy blackberry & currant w/ a plummy liquorice & blueberry mocha undertone
👄 Med body of plummy rich blackcurrant in a liquorice & dry mocha smooth body infused w/ minerals & a hint of blueberry
🎯 Med+ earthy dark fruits bathed in liquorice & mocha w/ a dry mineral tone — 5 days ago