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2013 2ème Cru Classé Saint Julien

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Saint Julien
Classification 2ème Cru Classé

Lacy harmonious nose. Attack is not huge, but it is fullish, suave, straight, spicy with tobacco, fat complex and integrated. Good energy and liveliness at the finish too. This will make a good bottle - the acidity is very present, but it is not separate or difficult, and there is a tobaccoey sweetness of flavour in the dryness of structure. Rating: 92+ L&S (Apr 2014)

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A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, the 2013 Ducru Beaucaillou achieved 13% natural alcohol. This beauty possesses a lot more texture than many 2013s as well as a deep ruby/purple color, a serious mid-palate, lots of cassis and spring flower characteristics intermixed with notions of oak and forest floor, medium body, and a ripe, soft personality. It will be ideal for drinking in its first decade or more of life. There is no doubting the remarkable effort Bruno Borie has made at this gorgeous estate that frequently behaves like a first-growth. In 2013, the harvest took place between September 26 and October 9, with less than 50% of the crop going into the grand vin. 2014-2024 Rating: 89-91 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2014)

Full ruby-red. Complex nose melds sweet black cherry, redcurrant, baking spices, tobacco and graphite. Very fresh and suave in the mouth, showing lively, penetrating, youthfully flinty flavors of dark fruits, spices and sweet oak. Offers real old-vine intensity and length of flavor accentuated by brisk acidity. Finishes with very smooth tannins and lingering notes of dark cherry and graphite. This serious wine is both graceful and concentrated, and is one of the best-balanced 2013s. I marveled at this wine's precision and purity at every sip Rating: 89-92 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)

The nose is fragrant quite light but the palate is sweet fruited with lots of orange marmalade and ripe apricot. The rich sweet fruit is underpinned by freshness a touch of citrus but it fills out at the back fleshy and rich. 2018-30 Rating: 88-92 Derek Smedley MW, 2014)

The nose has fruit richness the start of the palate a good depth of black fruits. It is firm in the middle with slightly chewy tannins but opens up at the back fleshier sweeter some chocolate under the cassis. The finish has nice length and a fresher feel. 2020-30 Rating: 90-93 Derek Smedley MW, 2014)

Given the vicissitudes of the vintage, this is surprisingly dense and concentrated, thanks to the inclusion of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon. Floral, supple and elegant, with fine tannins, neatly interwoven oak sweetness and a freshness that lifts the finish. 2018-28 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, 2014)

(90 Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 Merlot) This is an incredibly exciting wine with a luscious core of fruit and a moresih finish. Superbly suave and sexy and not too strict or tannic thanks to careful extraction there are no sour notes whatsoever on the finish. If you tried to overcompensate for lack of structure and extracted too much brawn in this vintage you made a grave error. Ducru has nailed the balance here with very sensitive winemaking. Only 7.5% press wine was added and this has resulted in a silky beast which grows on the mid-palate. Very smart and very polished, this is not a long-lived, contemplative D-B, but it is a stunning 2013 and it will drink early and this is something to celebrate. Rating: 18 Matthew Jukes 2014)

90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. 100% new oak. Much less expressive than their Croix, but the fruit has a fabulous purity on the palate. Malleable tannins, elegant perfume, soft texture. Tender and balanced. At present, the Croix is more immediate and interesting, but this has plenty of potential. 2018-2033 Rating: 17.5 Richard Hemming MW - 2014)

Dense colour from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, great purity and depth, quite lush for 2013 and superb vineyard expression, a totally modern Ducru. Drink: 2018-2030. Rating: 18 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)

Displays solid stuffing for the vintage, with steeped plum, blackberry and black currant fruit lined with singed mesquite, black tea and cinnamon notes. Delivers lots of range and ample toast through the finish, revealing a prominent woody side today, balanced by ample flesh. An impressive effort for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Rating: 90–93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2014)

Bruno Borie has overseen not just one of the best Saint Julien wines of 2013, but one of the best Left Bank wines. The Grand Vin is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot picked between 26 September with the Merlot and finishing with the Cabernet on 9 October, stopping on the 4 October during the showers. It was cropped at 26hl/ha. It has quite an elegant and natural bouquet, very classic in style with a subtle marine influence. The palate is medium-bodied is medium-bodied with very good concentration and well judged acidity. I like the density here and the grainy texture, persistent on the spicy finish. This is a big step up from the Croix de Beaucaillou this year and an assured, composed Saint Julien. Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, 2014)

The 2013 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Black cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and scorched earth blossom on the palate in a rich, resonant wine endowed with terrific depth and intensity for the year. The 2013 is delicate, sophisticated and polished to the core. A blast of red and blue tone fruits linger on the finish. The 2013 is aging in 100% new oak, all of which it has handled impeccably. At press time, Bruno Borie plans to stick to his regime of 18 months in barrel. Readers will find more obvious wines in 2013, but few that speak to this degree of pure finesse. Rating: 91-94 Antonio Galloni, 2014)

A new, traditional-style wine with a texture that spreads across the palate, featuring strawberry, light citrus and mineral character. Harmonious and sexy. Reminds me of the excellent 1971. Rating: 91-92 James Suckling, 2014)

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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