|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
Produced from a mere 25 hl/ha after a very severe selection saw 25% of the grapes on the vines after the flowering selected out. They seem to have been even more maniaque than their neighbours, with sorting at the harvest starting with sorting tables out in the vineyard, as well as the optical sorting machine after the égrappage. This yield is even lower than the heatwave and drought-affected 2003. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. Very classy integrated oak and rich fruit nose. Very supple but the fruit is totally authoritative in its style. Potent, regal ripeness and definition. There is grip to the tannins - unsurprising given they are at the same level as 2010, with higher acidity and less covering alcohol, but the grip merely serves to pull out the long finish. Pretty special. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2012)
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One of the vintage’s stars, the 2011 Ducru Beaucaillou is a riveting blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. It boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, licorice, subtle wood smoke and spring flowers, a surprising, full-bodied mouthfeel, and stunning intensity, purity, symmetry and length. Production at this estate used to be 12,000-15,000 cases, but after instituting a strict selection in addition to the smallest yields ever at this vineyard, it is down to 9,000 cases. The 2011 has considerable tannin, but it is soft and well-integrated. It should drink well for 20+ years. Readers should also be aware of just how sensational the second wine can be. If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s time to jump on Bruno Borie’s bandwagon for the two wines being produced from separate parts of the Ducru Beaucaillou vineyard. 2012 - 2032 Rating: 93-95 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2012)
The Grand Vin is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that is being aged in 95% new oak. It has a broody, introspective bouquet compared to the 2009 and 2010 as one would expect, although it is well defined with fine minerality, a seam of dried herbs, a touch of rosemary and thyme underneath a patina of black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, citric entry. There is a slight hardness to the tannins although that will soften in time, although it is still struck through with a tensile streak. The finish has a firm tannic backbone, hints of soy and a saline touch towards the finish. This is an intriguing Ducru that should repay extended cellaring. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Apr 2012)
Smallest Ducru harvest in the last 25 years, with 25% of the fruit that appeared in April/May eliminated. A vintage Bruno Borie likens to Nicole Kidman (cf Beyoncé in 2009). 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. 95% new oak. pH 3.6. Deep dark cherry crimson. Seductive fruit on the nose. Warm and dry and the tannins have great finesse and zero dryness. Puts the many dry Margaux tasted this morning into perspective. Dense but really supple and has a juicy flourish on the finish. Long. And very pure cassis through the middle. 2018-2032 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2012)
Château Ducru Beaucaillou
St Julien Deuxième cru 1855 When the Beychevelle estate was broken up in 1642, in order to pay off the debts of the deceased owner, it gave birth to three Châteaux - Beychevelle, Branaire-Ducru and Ducru-Beaucaillou. Château Ducru Beaucaillou was so named because of the quality lent to the wine by the large pebbles in the soil - the "good pebbles" being "beau caillou" (although it was originally "Maucaillou", "bad pebbles" not being much use for any other kind of agriculture). In 1795, the estate was purchased by Bertrand Ducru, and the name was complete. The early years on the 20th Century were not kind to Ducru-Beaucaillou, but salvation was on hand with its purchase by Francis Borie in 1941. Apart from some problems with TCA during the late 1980's, the tenure of the Borie family has been a time of continuing improvement at Ducru-Beaucaillou. Today, Francis' grandson Bruno Borie heads up the estate. The Borie family also own Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Château Haut Batailley. The 75ha of vineyard are planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot have, apparently, left the blend. The Grand Vin spends 18 to 20 months in wood, with the proportion of new wood varying between vintages. A second wine was introduced in 1995 - La Croix de Beaucaillou. Also produced at Ducru-Beaucaillou is Château Lalande-Borie from vineyard purchased from Château Lagrange in 1970 which, although it could perfectly legally be absorbed into Château Ducru Beaucaillou, has always been produced as a seperate wine.
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