2017 Prélude a Grand-Puy Ducasse, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2017 Prélude a Grand-Puy Ducasse, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20178123477
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2017 Prélude a Grand-Puy Ducasse, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Description

Brooding aromas of coffee bean, dark chocolate, strawberry and savoury notes. Approachable style, fruit-forward with well-integrated tannins.

Drink 2023 - 2034

Andy Howard MW, Decanter (Febuary 2022)

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Critics reviews

Decanter90/100

Brooding aromas of coffee bean, dark chocolate, strawberry and savoury notes. Approachable style, fruit-forward with well-integrated tannins.

Drink 2023 - 2034

Andy Howard MW, Decanter (Febuary 2022)

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About this WINE

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse

Château Grand-Puy Ducasse is a wine estate in Pauillac on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. Unusually, the château building is located within the town itself; most other châteaux are situated within the vineyard areas surrounding it. A major renovation project was completed in 2024, seeing the inauguration of a new cellar (in time for the 2023 vintage) and a visitor’s centre. The estate was ranked Fifth Growth in the 1855 classification. It is part CA Grands Crus, the fine-wine production arm of France’s Crédit Agricole bank. Other estates in the group include Château Meyney in St Estèphe as well as properties in St Émilion and Burgundy. The group is overseen by Anne Le Naour, who joined in 2011.

While the cellar is within the town of Pauillac, its vineyards are broken up into different plots scattered throughout the appellation. This makes the estate “the most representative of the diversity of Pauillac’s soils”, Anne believes. A new label design was introduced with the 2020 vintage, part of a concerted effort to signify a new era and perhaps to shake off old associations. In the past, Anne says, “the focus was on quantity, not quality”. Furthermore, much of the production was once sold to French supermarkets. To turn things around here, Anne focused first on restoring and improving the vineyard. It took her almost a decade to convince the shareholders to make what she saw as a crucial investment in the winery, though she is happy with the result.

In addition to the grand vin, there is also a second wine here, Prélude à Grand-Puy Ducasse.

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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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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet 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.

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