Château Laulan Ducos, 2011 Update

Thanks to Frédéric Ducos of Château Laulan Ducos, which is located in the Médoc commune of Jau-Dignac-Loirac, to the north of the famed left bank communes of St Estèphe, Pauillac and St Julien, I recently had the opportunity to revisit his 2008 vintage and also to get a glimpse of what had been achieved here in 2009.

Château Laulan Ducos

A notable development here in the 2008 vintage is the Prestige de Laulan Ducos, a cellar selection, essentially a Laulan Ducos ‘super-cuvée’. In this vintage it accounts for about 40 000 bottles, alongside approximately 100 000 bottles of the Château Laulan Ducos. This latter wine has been awarded the cru bourgeois accolade for the 2008 vintage and so proprietor Frédéric argues that the prestige bottling, from the best vats, with a slight preponderance of Cabernet Sauvignon and with a higher percentage of new oak, must be “better than cru bourgeois“. Nevertheless, both wines show the leaner, crunchy-fruit character of the vintage, a feature which I have found across many wines, in many communes. And the more I taste, the more I scratch my head when I see others discussing the ‘greatness’ of the 2008 vintage, ranking it alongside 2009, and there is even discussion of a 2008-2009-2010 triumvirate (I will have to taste the 2010s before I can comment on that). There were some great wines in 2008, just as there were in 2006, but a great vintage? No.

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