A complex set of aromas ranging from coffee to forest floor, herbs, licorice, blackberries, cassis and cherries all seem to jump from the glass, and then are joined by a hint of charcoal as well camphor. This is an impressive, full-bodied, dense, concentrated wine that is more up-front and approachable than the 2005 was at a similar stage, but it is remarkably expressive, full-bodied, dense and capable of lasting 20-25 years. Showing better from bottle than it did from barrel, this wine comes very close to equaling the prodigious 2005 that was produced by consultants Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt. Cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare from the limestone hillsides of this terroir, the final blend was 81% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc that tipped the scales at 14.6% natural alcohol. It is a brilliant sample of wine, as this has long been one of the great terroirs of St.-Emilion, but under-exploited until nearly a decade ago.
The 2009 Larcis Ducasse is an exotic, flamboyant wine endowed with remarkable depth and pure pedigree. Sweet tobacco, mint, pine and red-fleshed fruits are front and center. Even with all of its voluptuousness and richness, the 2009 is firm and quite tannic. Readers should be prepared to cellar it for at least a handful of years. (AG)
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