2020 Chateau Larcis Ducasse Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

  • "Up With the Top Handful of Wines on the Right Bank" ~99 Jeb Dunnuck
  • "I Adore It" ~Decanter
  • "Exceptional" Vintage ~98 Vinous Media
  • Recognized Premier Grand Cru Classé Since 2012
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About the Wine

Château Larcis Ducasse is just a stone's throw away from the city of St-Emilion. The estate was established in the 17th century, it has been in the esteemed Gratiot-Attmane family's possession since 1893.

In 2002, the management was entrusted to the dynamic duo of Nicols Thienpont and David Suire, with guidance from legendary winemakers Stéphane Derenoncourt and Julien Lavenu. Derenoncourt is one of France's premier wine consultants. His clients include Domaine de Chevalier, Clos Fourtet, Clos de l'Oratoire, Chateau Pavie-Macquin, Canon-la-Gaffeliere, Smith Haut Lafitte, Brown, as well as Francis Ford Coppola's Rubicon Estate in Napa.

In 2012, Château Larcis Ducasse was rightfully promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé during the esteemed 6th Saint-Emilion classification. This recognition solidifies their commitment to producing wines of unrivaled quality and distinction.

The estate is located in the mythical "Grand Côte" and the limestone promontory that majestically overlooks the Dordogne valley, where the vineyard's southern exposure bathes the vines in sunlight. This estate is commonly known as “the King of Merlot.”

2020 Larcis Ducasse is an outstanding wine, and according to Vinous “a real showstopper.” 2020 was an exceptional vintage that was awarded 98 points by Vinous Media, who said, “An exceptional vintage for Bordeaux, certainly the best in the 2018-2020 trilogy. Quality is exceptionally high among the great wines of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.”

Aging: 50% new French oak.

Tasting Notes90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.


The Grand Vin comes from a tiny 11.15-hectare vineyard that has been in the Gratiot family since 1893. Located on the south-facing Côte Pavie, between Château Pavie and Château Bellefont-Belcier and consisting of clay on top of limestone soils, the vineyard has recently been going through a replanted phase using a selection massale and a higher density planting. The grapes are hand-sorted, vinification occurs all in concrete and spans four weeks, with the élevage in 50% new French oak. A normal blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Larcis Ducasse reminds me of the 2005 and is up with the top handful of wines on the Right Bank. It has a brilliant perfume of red and black fruits, white truffle, leafy tobacco, and Asian spices. This carries to a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful Larcis-Ducasse with ultra-fine yet building tannins, perfect balance, a stacked mid-palate, and one heck of a great finish. It's going to flirt with perfection in 7-8 years (I'm probably underrating it a point) and have 30 years of overall longevity. Tasted numerous times with consistent results. ~99 Jeb Dunnuck

Perfumed nose, heady and seductive, the aromas shining out of the glass. Full, rich and vibrant tones of blackcurrant and black cherry. Ripe and chewy, the tannins really are present and grippy but have a plushness and a bounce to them, they coat the entire mouth, seriously wide and expansive but are gentle even in their fillingness. A powdery blueberry juiciness with intense liquorice touches walks the line between freshness and power so well. Really a step up in quality, still tight, strong and not exactly charming at this point but there’s no faulting the winemaking here, this is direct, powerful and firm but so long with great acidity. Packed and charged, ripe and rich, yet round and balanced. I adore it. ~98 Decanter

The 2020 Larcis Ducasse is a real showstopper. Bright and vertical in feel, 2020 possesses tremendous energy to match its super-classic build. Beams of tannin and acid give the wine its shape. Dark cherry and pomegranate fruit are pushed forward, with a kick of blood orange acidity that lends freshness. Graphite, dried herbs, menthol, spice, and cedar emerge with some coaxing, but 2020 is very young and very primary. That of course bodes so well for its future. 2020 is quite simply a thrilling Larcis and one of the very finest values in all of Bordeaux. ~98 Vinous

Blackberry and asphalt with cool minerals and a hint of mint. It’s full-bodied and chewy with intense flavors and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of chalk and an almost salty undertone.  ~97-98 James Suckling

The 2020 Larcis Ducasse has a deep purple-black color, leaping from the glass with bold notions of redcurrant jelly, plum preserves, kirsch and red roses, followed by hints of licorice, fragrant earth and spice cake, with a touch of woodsmoke. The medium to full-bodied palate is laden with fragrant red berries and profound black fruit preserves, supported by ripe, rounded tannins and lovely tension, finishing very long and fantastically layered. Absolutely, stunningly singular. ~96-98 Wine Advocate

Just such a brilliant wine, with finesse and balance. Joyful, with dark chocolate, blueberry and cassis fruits, salted crackers, wet stone minerality, violet aromatics. Supple tannins, this is both complex and simply easy to enjoy, with layers that grip and delight. Love it, holds on tight and keeps you engaged. ~97 Jane Anson

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