This wonderful terroir next to Pavie has enjoyed a renaissance under the stewardship if Nicolas Thienpont. The 2011 is produced from 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc and rivals its sister property (Pavie Macquin) for sheer quality. We were impressed by the smorgasbord of aromas that emerge from the bouquet: earth, truffle, cassis, liqueur chocolates. This is complex, sexy St Emilion, but it is tight knit and held together by ample structure and a vibrant racy streak. Another commendable Larcis Ducasse from the Thienpont/Derenoncourt team.
Larcis-Ducasse has been re-born under the `dream team` of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephan Derenoncourt. Since 2004, the quality at this estate has lived up to its excellent position next to Pavie. Exceptional terroir and state of the art wine-making has transformed this and sister property Pavie Macquin into two of the `must have` wines from St Emilion.
St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.