2012 Ch. Larcis Ducasse, St Emilion

2012 Ch. Larcis Ducasse, St Emilion

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Ch. Larcis Ducasse | Code: 17204 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

Prices: 

BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

2cs

£200.00

New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl

1cs

£260.00

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17/20

DECANTER

17.25/20

JANCIS

17/20

PARKER

93-95/100

WS

90-93/100

DECANTER - Rich and ripe on the nose with a hint of mocha. Fresh and long on the palate. Friendlier in style than 2011. Tannins softened by the fruit.
James Lawther MW, Decanter, April 2013

JANCIS - Deep dark cherry colour. Fine and dry and so fresh. Feels like a breath of summer. But it is not particularly light – good length – just no excess weight. Maybe just a very slight bitterness on the finish?
Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com, 26 Apr 2013

PARKER - The 2012 exhibits notes of licorice, truffles, lead pencil shavings, barbecued meats, blackberries, black raspberries and a hint of espresso roast. Sweet new oak notes are apparent in the back of the wine, but its abundant fruit, full-bodied mouthfeel, and multidimensional texture as well as length, make for an impressive showing. This wine will need 3-4 years of cellaring and should keep for 20 years or more. Bravo! If you haven’t yet jumped on the Larcis Ducasse bandwagon, it’s time to do so.

Even if the 2012 is not as potentially prodigious as the 2005 and 2010, it is a remarkable effort. Yields were kept to 23 hectoliters per hectare by the brilliant team of Nicolas Thienpont, Stephane Derenoncourt, David Suire and Julien Lavenu. The final blend of 83% Merlot and 17% Cabernet Franc has produced a powerhouse with 14.5% natural alcohol. This team’s goal is undoubtedly to elevate Larcis Ducasse to the status of Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Pavie and Angelus. They are well on their way.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2013

WS - Blueberry, damson plum and blackberry notes all mingle here, with a snappy licorice edge and brairy tannins on the finish. This has length and balance, without the sinewy, extracted feel of some St.-Emilions.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 8 2013

The Story

Ch. Larcis Ducasse

Producer

Ch. Larcis Ducasse

Traditionally Ch. Larcis Ducasse, a St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, was regarded as a property with exceptional terrior but a constant underperformer. This has changed, mainly thanks to the talents of a new winemaking team headed up by Nicolas Thienpont (of Ch. Pavie Macquin repute) and Stephane Derenoncourt (the mercurial 'flying wine consultant') who have managed to unlock the potential of this sleeping giant.

The estate is located on one of Bordeaux's finest strips of terroir - the Cote Pavie in St Emilion. Here, this 25-acre property abuts the 1er Grand Cru Classé Ch. Pavie estate. The vines are planted on an eclectic range of soils - alluvial sand deposits, clay, chalk and limestone. The vines, as one would expect for that part of the world, are predominately Merlot (some 75%) Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The new winemaking team arrived in 2002 and since then, the wines have gone from strength to strength. Look out especially for the 2005 Ch. Larcis Ducasse (98/100 Parker), 2006 Ch. Larcis Ducasse (91-94 Parker) and 2007 Ch. Larcis Ducasse (92-94 Parker), as these are the manifestation of all the hard work undertaken at the château over recent years.

Grape

Merlot

Merlot

The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.

In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

Region

St-Emilion

St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Emilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Emilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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