Château Larcis Ducasse: Tasting & Drinking

The vineyards of Château Larcis Ducasse enjoy a fine south-facing position, ensuring excellent ripening in many vintages, imbuing the wines with ripe flavours and ripe tannins. Combine this with the Thienpont approach to vinification and the style here tends to be quite modern. The wines are warm, ripe, dark in colour and rich in tannin.

For me, in some vintages, these wines have teetered on the brink of being too modern in style. When the fruit definition in St Emilion becomes very dark and diffuse, the tannins domineering and the impact of the oak firm and charcoaly, the wines move away from the purity and classicism seen at some names up on the limestone plateau to the more modern and muscular style that is found dotted about the appellation. While some wines go over entirely to this style, I find Château Larcis Ducasse sits warily on the cusp of this transformation. The wines are dark and concentrated, but the fruit doesn’t feel baked, there is freshness from the acids, and the wines seem to age rather well.

As a consequence, I have enjoyed some of these wines, and rated some vintages rather well. The 2005 vintage is a favourite, as is often the case, while both 2009 and 2010 have shown well, and my preference has so far been for the more recent on these two vintages. The one to look out for in the hunt for value, however, may well be 2008, a very fine effort which I have tasted several times over the years and which has been consistent in its performance. (28/11/07, updated 15/10/15, 20/3/16)

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