Of the Thienpont/Derenoncourt duo of Larcis Ducasse and Pavie Macquin, the Larcis gets our nod. It is a unique style that we have come to expect from this fabulous terroir close to Chateau Pavie. Some might argue that these vineyards are in fact superior to those of the newly promoted 1er Grand Cru Classé 'A's. Deeply mineral notes mingle with aromas of very high quality fruit pastille. Intensely cassisy in character, this is exotic, but the acidity and tannins are classical and bring the wine into balance. The palate is packed with blackcurrants, dried fruits and herbs. Unique and utterly charming.
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.