Château Larcis Ducasse and Château Pavie-Macquin are two of my favourite wines in St Emilion [although I confess to having quite a few in the appellation!]. Both are managed by Nicolas Thienpont and his team, both are quite different. Larcis has a wonderful eleven hectare spot on the sunny, terraced south west facing Côte de Pavie. It is a very solar location. Its wines are typically lush and sensual. They are the classic iron fist in a velvet glove – almost more akin to terrific Grand Gru Burgundy than Bordeaux. They also have a magical ability to age. Château Pavie Macquin is often more obviously powerful and structured. It has more varied terroir with a number of different parcels across the St Emilion limestone plateau. Typically, there is slightly more Cabernet Franc in the blend with a spot of Cabernet Sauvignon too. Both properties have made superlative wines in 2022. There is not a hairs breadth between the two qualitatively speaking, though they as ever they are quite different stylistically. I had the pleasure of tasting both in the cellars at Château Larcis Ducasse with winemaker David Suire who works with Nicolas Thienpont.
The following notes were taken on Friday 21st April, 2023.
Château Larcis Ducasse, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2022
Lovely colour; really glossy and attractive; very plush and pretty on the nose; enthralling; again lush and plush on the palate; layers of really sweet, ripe fruit; the texture on the palate is beautiful; ripe and fleshy but with a saline quality which gives freshness on the end; nothing ponderous or heavy here; very round and super fine. Overall, fantastically seductive and pure. Nudging perfection again surely? [86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 14.7% alc]. Drink 2029-2053. 97-99+
Château Pavie Macquin, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2022
Deep and arterial in the glass; bold, strong and inky aromatics; very intense and pure; some chocolate; menthol, black fruits; very concentrated and glossy palate; lovely texture; lots of material and extract but wonderful purity again. Really fine acidity on the end. Surprising freshness in fact, alongside epic length. Possibly the best Pavie Macquin I’ve tasted – and the property has been superlative for the last decade or so! [80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.8% alc]. Drink 2030-2053. 97-99+