Red, For laying down

2012 Ch. Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac

2012 Ch. Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac

Red | For laying down | Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse | Code:  19671 | 2012 | France > Bordeaux > Pauillac | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

DECANTER

16.5/20

JANCIS

16/20

WA

90/100

DECANTER - Good richness and depth, lots of plummy fruit, quite fleshy and broad.
Steven Spurrier - Decanter - April 2013

JANCIS - Sweet and rich on the nose and then quite tight and edgy with minerals on the palate. Uncomfortable for the moment but it should come round. Just slightly worried about the cocoa notes on the start. And a certain looseness of texture.
Jancis Robinson - jancisrobinson.com - April 2013

WA - This is another estate in Pauillac that has dramatically raised its performance level over the last decade. The 2012, from grapes harvested between October 2 and 17, has supple tannins and a nice mouthfeel that builds incrementally, offering up plenty of crme de cassis, plum and blackberry fruit. The wine is soft, round, opulently textured, and an undeniable success for 2012. The purity of fruit is also admirable. Drink this medium to full-bodied Pauillac over the next 20 years. This is significantly better than the barrel samples tasted in March, 2013.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 30/04/2015

The Producer

Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse

Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse

Château Grand Puy Ducasse is a frequently overlooked Pauillac 5ème Cru Classé property that after years in the doldrums, now produces fine quality claret at very reasonable prices. The catalyst for change was its acquisition by the négociant firm, Mestrezat. It has extensively replanted in the vineyards, and built a new cuvier and chai.

Grand Puy Ducasse has 45 hectares of well-sited vineyards, one parcel on a gravel plateau near Batailley, and another adjacent to Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild. The wine is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot - it is matured in oak casks (30% new) for 18 months before being bottled.

Grand Puy Ducasse is a mid-weight Pauillac that displays good depth of fruit and is usually drinkable 5 years after the vintage - the best examples can last for 10-15 years.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region

Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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