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Château Grand-Puy Ducasse


Address: Quai Antione Ferchaud – 33250 Pauillac

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 11 29 00


Another of Pauillac’s bevy of fifth growths, Château Grand-Puy Ducasse was seen as a bit of an under-performer in the past but things appear to have improved significantly in the last decade since its acquisition by CA Grand Crus. The 2000 seemed really good to me, classic Pauillac, and the 2009 & 2010 look very good too. It is one the few Châteaux from the Pauillac appellation that is located in the town of Pauillac itself. Recent vintages in 2015 and 2016 are very impressive. I posted a more detailed review of some of the changes and personalities in a post entitled Fields of Dreams

Vineyard/Terroir: 40 hectares on siliceous Garonne gravel planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

Winemaking/Elévage: Traditional with oak ageing, 30-40% of which are new each vintage.

Tasting notes:

  • 2016 Deep and dark at centre; tight to edge; blackcurrant cassis; violet lift; nicely pure; Cabernet looks good; very bright and polished; cool and layered; really nice texture; this could be the best Grand Puy-Ducasse yet; very exciting; has polish; extract on the palate with mocha on the finish; some chew; will work well. Certainly the best from here since the fabulous 2009. Tasted 2/4/17. Drink 2024-2036. 93-94+
  • 2015 Deep and saturated; dark core; ripe blackcurrants; cassis; some coffee; bright and fresh fruit; grip and structure; this is impressive wine. Length. Drink 2024-2030. Tasted 5/4/16 UGCB. 91-93 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated looking; nice at edge; deep and rather lush aromas; quite layered; lovely black fruits; cassis; black cherry; lovely purity here; top notch; lovely fruit on the palate – really pure and clean; is this the finest GPD since the 2009? Lovely elegance on the finish. Lots of matter and fruit. Drink 2024-2030. Tasted 4/4/16 at Ch. Meyney. 91-93.
  • 2014 Attractive depth; deep and vibrant at edge; bright fruit; clean; blackcurrants; cassis and cream; clarity and purity on the palate; blackcurrant tones; nice chew and density; good grip and structure; fresh acidity; fresh and pure Pauillac; good length and nicely ripe tannin. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Ch Meyney, 30 March, 2015. 88-90+ [Additional note] Deep and dark looking; purple edge; some oak influence; scented; then cool blackcurrant aromas beneath; palate has blackcurrant fruit and fresh vibrant acidity; bit grippy this sample but it will settle. Bright fruit. Fresh. Drink 2016-2030. Tasted UGC 2 April, 2015. 88-90
  • 2013 Deep and dense; oaky but with sweet ripe fruit behind; glossy; blackcurrant cassis and some layers; good palate; nice fruit; little integration needed; gutsy but nicely judged extraction. Balanced. [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot]. Tasted Ch Meyney 31/3/13. Drink 2018-2028. 86-88+ [second note] Deepish; vibrant edge; little dumb initially; some cream and whiff of blackcurrants on aeration; palate reasonably full and inky; some chew; needs to settle a bit; acidity more marked than some. Tasted UGC 1/4/13. 86-88 [third note] Mid depth; spices, blackcurrants; very elegant aromatics; palate little dominated by new oak; feels a little dry; needs to fill out; chewy. Has more fruit than Haut-Bages Libéral. Tasted UGC 3/4/14. [62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2028. 86-88
  • 2012 Deep and dark looking; sturdy blackcurrant aromatics; full with an attractive smoky edge; blackcurrants and spices on the palate; full and attractive with supple, harmonious tannins. Easygoing but sturdy enough to take some age. Good effort. Drink 2016-2028. 89+ UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated look; perfume; blackcurrant tones and lift; precise and pure on the nose; with some fat Merlot here; wood on the palate but lots of fruit; feels a little disjointed but should meld as there is lots of extract, fruit and density tp soak this up. Fresh finish. Tasted at Chateau Meyney, Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89 [Earlier UGC note] Mid depth; healthy looking; pure blackcurrant aromas; nice cassis tones; oak dominated the palate a bit but should settle as there is plenty of fruit. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. 87-89 [Additional note] Mid depth; purple at edge; blackcurrants, cassis; some oak; needs to integrate further; pretty pure overall and extract and tannin on the finish. Feels chewy and tannic at this stage. Should settle. Tasted UGC April 9, 2013. 87-89
  • 2011 Mid depth; little dumb initially; sturdy, wet rocks; core of chunky blackcurrant fruit on the palate; good effort if less flattering and complete [at this stage] than Batailley. Firm-ish finish. Needs a bit of time to come together. Drink 2018-2028. 88+ UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Deep and dark; saturated but healthy looking; vibrant edge; nice fruit, blackcurrants, cassis and well integrated oak; pure; good entry, sweet fruit; elegance; wood on the palate but supple in its way; lots of cassis fruit. Little chunkiness to the tannins but nice length. Very good effort. 88-90 Tasted at Chateau Meyney 2/4/12  [second note from UGCB] Deep, dark; nice cool cassis and blackcurrants and some earth; lots of flavour; good wine here; purity; nice palate some beauty to the wine, very clean and pure; lovely seam of blackcurrant fruit. A good buy potentially depending on price. Chewy on the finish but harmonious overall. Good length. Tasted 3/4/12 and 5/4/12 at UGCB. 88-90+
  • 2010 Dense and deep at centre; quite dense at edge; blackcurrants, pure and fresh; chewy and dense palate; plenty of material and lots of grip but lots of blackcurrant flavour too. Nice length. Very good effort here. 91+ UGCB Nov ’12 [Earlier note] Very saturated, deep; very clean, blackcurrant, depth, not majorly expressive, ripe, some cassis; real depth and concentration on the palate; feels a bit woody and tannic on the palate; acid here too. Feels strong but bit currently disjointed. Will meld no doubt[60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot] 88-90/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 UGCB [Second tasting UGC] Deep and dark; up to rim; blackcurrants, quite seductive quite full; some blackcurrant even tobacco; ripe and full; chewy and ripe. Good grip and lift. Promising. 89-91+/100 Tasted 7 April UGCB [Third tasting] Deep and saturated; vibrant looking; blackcurrant, fresh, some smoke and cassis here; oak little obvious for now on the palate; will meld; density, grip and tannin here. Structured and correct. Would like a bit more flesh but guess that’s the vintage. 88-90/100 Tasted 8April at Chateau Meyney
  • 2009 Mid depth; dark core; ripe blackcurrant aromas with spices; some earth and wet rock notes; wine gums on aeration; layers and depth obvious; good blackcurrant fruit on the palate; ripe but with grip; real freshness; lovely fruit but nice acid and round tannins. Finesse here too. Drink 2015-2030. 92+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth; legs; lovely satiny opulent style from this vastly improved Pauillac estate; a junior Lalande? Freshness again on the palate and satin fruit; dips a fraction but this will fill out for sure. Another excellent effort here. 92/100 UCGB Oct ’11 [Earlier note] Very saturated colour; tight to the rim; very dense wine on the nose, blackcurrants, flesh, more depth, very ripe nose and rich, some tobacco notes also; great palate which has not surprisingly filled out considerably since the wine was shown at the primeur tastings. Lovely blackcurrant fruit, cassis, rich and opulent; almost velvety quality here; dense yet supple and lots of ripe tannin. This is now looking a terrific wine, full of flavour but also freshness here too. Pure. Surely the best Ducasse yet? 13.7% alcohol 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot 92-94+/100 Tasted at the chateau Nov ’10.  [Earlier note] Dark black, tight to rim; pretty ripe fruit; very blackcurrant style; very fresh and very ripe cassis; sweet ripe fruit; little chunkier tannin here but very good effort. Good intensity and fruit on the palate. Little more tannin chunkiness but very good. Should be very good value. Bold. Best Ducasse of recent years. 90+/100 Tasted 30th March & 1st April ’10 UGC Primeur tastings.
  • 2008 Deep concentrated colour; red purple at edge; blackcurrants, cassis, some tobacco leaf; quite forward nose; blackcurrants, good grip and structure, acid and tannin; lots of grip and acid, should come together as there is flesh. Needs 5 years. 88+/100 Tasted at the chateau Nov ‘10
  • 2007 Mid depth, red at edge; pure blackcurrant fruit nose, little additional development and feels fresh, though lacking complexity; palate full, rocks, wet stones and dusty tannin, a little angular overall. Maybe needs another year or two? 86+/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier note] 2007 Mid red; some of the rose hip; blackcurrants, stones and minerals; some cream but palate tough and tannic. 84-86?/100 UGC London tasting Oct ‘09
  • 2000 Youthful purple at edge; solid at core; quite dense blackcurrant nose, with new oak and concentration – palate medium bodied, closing down a little but lots of nice chewy blackcurrant fruit here with cassis – quite ‘pure’ in style with a little earthiness. Good 88-90/100 Sept ‘06

DSC01558Maitre de Chais Cécile Bernier and winemaker Anne Le Naour


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