From vines that are the other side of the road to Ducru itself, with a different exposition, dipping down to the Mouline creek which divides the southern half of the appellation from the Léovilles to the north. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. Deep purple, rich and harmonious, rounded, nothing out of place. There's an ample ripeness and fruitiness combined with a luxy, voluptuous style. Brilliantly done! Rating: 92-92 L&S (Apr 2012)
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The ripeness on the nose fills it out all quite black fruited. Black cherry and cassis intermingle on the palate the ripe feeling fruit supported by quite firm tannins. There is a good depth and weight of fruit on the finish. 2020-40 Rating: 88-91 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(Dec 2013)
The opaque ruby/purple-tinged 2011 Croix de Beaucaillou (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot) exhibits copious aromas of incense, Christmas fruitcake and red and black currants presented in a richly fruity, opulent style that is almost atypical in a vintage such as 2011 (which generally emphasizes acidity, delineation and more traditional structure and freshness). This beauty is clearly a sleeper of the vintage. It should drink well for 10-15 years. 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 - 2027 Rating: 90-92 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com(Apr 2012)
The 2011 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. It has fine delineation on the nose that is dominated by creamy new oak at the moment, although it is completely in synch with the ebullient ripe blackberry and briary fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with quite succulent tannins. There is a keen thread of citrus lemon and a touch of orange rind, with fine delineation and poise towards the tensile finish. This is a very fine second wine for the vintage, fresh and lively. Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2012)
Now with its Jade Jagger label (Rolling Stone and Beaucaillou, gettit?). 'Planned to ask Christian Lacroix but he was working on beer', said Bruno Borie. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. First year for the Petit Verdot. 60% new oak. Deep bright cherry. First year for the Petit Verdot. Exotically spiced, black fruit, even a little leathery. Purest phase of ripeness. Then more savoury on the palate. Both earthy and juicy. Very rounded but rich in the mouth, too, good amount of flesh – more flesh than many – filling out the tannins so that they are well hidden. 2017-2028 Rating: 16.5+ Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2012)
Good density of quite restrained fruit, elegantly seductive style. Drink 2015-2022. Rating: 16.5 www.decanter.com(Apr 2012)
This is the second wine of Ducru, but it’s an impressive effort in a year like 2011, benefiting from the addition of Petit Verdot. Vibrantly coloured with violets and Asian spices on the nose, sweet oak, plush, yet grippy tannins and structured flavours of liquorice and blackberry. 10+ years. Rating: 93 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(Apr 2012)
Aromas of plums and berries with hints of chocolate and spice. Medium to full body, with firm tannins and a chocolate and berry undertone. Well done. Second wine of Ducru. 7% Petit Verdot, 20% Merlot, and 73% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rating: 90-91 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.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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