In a nutshell: A ripe and fruit driven Right Bank Claret from Montagne Saint-Émilion
The lowdown: Montagne Saint-Émilion is one of the so called St-Émilion satellite appellations and consquently prices here aren't generally as expensive. Nevertheless there is some good value to be found here especially from good producers. The owners of Château Plaisance are the Ducourt family who have a number of other properties throughout Bordeaux and with their expertise are pretty much on top of their game. Made from mainly Merlot with just a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon after fermentation it's aged for 12 months in a mix of new and used oak barrels before bottling and ageing for a further 18 months before release. It's got perfumed aromas with ripe berry fruits like blackberries and raspberries to the fore which continue onto the palate accompanied by subtle oak and vanilla. There's a freshness, typical of the vintage, and silky integrated tannins it's well balanced with a good depth of flavour and a mouth watering, lingering finish.
When to drink: On top form right now and has the stamina to remain good drinking through to the mid-2020s. Ideal with charcuterie, all types of red meats and mature hard cheeses.
Vignobles Ducoout is based in the commune of Ladaux in the the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers region south east of Bordeaux which is where they've been since the family first acquired Château des Combes in 1858. In the post WWII period under the guidance of Henri Ducourt the estate gradually transformed into one of the major enterprises of the area. During this period they acquired several additional properties and today they own 14 châteaux and a vineyard area extending to 450 hectares.
Currently at the helm of the business are thre grandchildren of the Hernri Ducourt, Bernard, Phillipe and Marie Christine. Their vineyards are all managed the agriculture raisonnée system where they aim to minimse the use of artificial pesticides and use mininmally interventionist methods. The extensive range of wines fully reflect their ethos and there's excellent quality to be found here at, for Bordeaux wines, pleasantly modest prices.