Château Larcis Ducasse

Saint-Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend

9.19 ratings
9.14 pro ratings
St. Émilion, Libournais, Bordeaux, France
Red Bordeaux Blend
Top Notes For
David T

Independent Sommelier/Wine Educator

9.2

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.

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.

Mar 17th, 2018
Philippe Thibault

All the roads lead to an aged Bordeaux. Only 2 bottles left and I really wish I would still have a whole case of this wine as it's simply so divine. Pure velvet in a glass. The kind of wine that makes you like wine even more.

All the roads lead to an aged Bordeaux. Only 2 bottles left and I really wish I would still have a whole case of this wine as it's simply so divine. Pure velvet in a glass. The kind of wine that makes you like wine even more.

1 person found it helpfulDec 8th, 2015
Philippe Thibault

Super silky entry, nicely balanced with aromas of cassis, bing cherries, orange peel, cedar and tea leaves.

Super silky entry, nicely balanced with aromas of cassis, bing cherries, orange peel, cedar and tea leaves.

Nov 5th, 2015
John Sweeney

In a great place. Drinking younger than '03 Latour. Silky, leathery, complex and long. #bordeaux #stemilion #wine #france

In a great place. Drinking younger than '03 Latour. Silky, leathery, complex and long. #bordeaux #stemilion #wine #france

Jul 10th, 2015
Thomas Brenner

Cherry jam, plum, barnyard and tractor oil, medium plus finish, great structure, more full bodied than most Bordeaux with at least 13 yrs behind it.

Cherry jam, plum, barnyard and tractor oil, medium plus finish, great structure, more full bodied than most Bordeaux with at least 13 yrs behind it.

Oct 10th, 2016
Man Law

Man had this 4 months ago

Man had this 4 months ago

Apr 23rd, 2020
Dave Parker

Dave had this 3 years ago

Dave had this 3 years ago

Mar 28th, 2017
Jerome Maitre

Jerome had this 4 years ago

Jerome had this 4 years ago

Jun 7th, 2016
Alan Winter

Alan had this 4 years ago

Alan had this 4 years ago

May 31st, 2016
Gleize Martin

Gleize had this 3 years ago

Gleize had this 3 years ago

Sep 3rd, 2017