|Classification||2ème Cru Classé|
After the Lalande Borie and the Croix de Beaucaillou the nose here is surprisingly subdued and restrained. This restraint does continue, yes this is impressive stuff - powerful, rich and intense - but it seems more genuine than its little brothers. It is more sophisticated, more powerful and less preened or pimped. Imposing yes, a huge cliff-like slab of wonderfully ripe fruit at the core, bilberry and softly cooked plum is quite a statement, underpinned by super minerality - but the feel is persistent, long and glamorously silky. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2015)
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The 2014 Ducru Beaucaillou has a refined bouquet with perfumed blackberry and briary scents, the oak neatly intertwined. The palate is medium-bodied with quite a sharp, penetrating entry, the acidity here higher than its peers. It is certainly fresh and tensile, more Pauillac in style than Saint Julien, with a strong graphite presence towards the finish. Fine, but it needs a couple more years in bottle. It actually improves with aeration and develops much more finesse and panache. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2050 Rating: 95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Mar 2018)
Not much on the nose. Light, minerally and treacly but without much density. Rather dry tannins on the end. The tannins seem to slightly outweigh the fruit. Lightly salty. Need to wait for this very classic wine – which will never be a blockbuster. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Feb 2018)
Opulent, with layers of warmed fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture that loll along, yet are kept going by a terrific graphite note that is well-buried throughout. Alluring black tea, singed mesquite and bittersweet cocoa accents add to the panache. A head-turner. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 95 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Jan 2017)
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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