|Grapes||Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv|
64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot. Not so much a second wines, more like Clos du Marquis, a separate vineyard. It was part of Ducru, but the decision was made to split off 30% of the vineyard that lies further from the river, the other side of the road, where the gravels are not quite so fine. Very supple and expressive, fleshy, juicy, ripe. Very good and could be good value. Drinking range: 2023 - 2033 Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Croix de Beaucaillou has a very attractive bouquet of high-toned but controlled blackberry and blueberry fruit neatly enmeshed with some quality new oak. The medium-bodied palate delivers fine-boned tannins, well-judged acidity and a silky-smooth, sensual finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is a very impressive 2016. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2023 - 2045 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)
While the top wine gets all the attention, the second wine 2016 La Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou is well worth seeking out and unquestionably shows some of the class and purity of the grand vin. A more forward, fleshy wine with oodles of black raspberries, cassis, and floral hints, it’s a total charmer with its fine, supple tannins and great finish. A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, aged 12 months in 60% new barrels, drink it any time over the coming 15-20 years. Drinking range: 2019 - 2039 Rating: 93 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 La Croix de Beaucaillou is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot that is matured in 60% new oak for 12 months and the remainder in one-year-old barrels. It has quite a rich and opulent bouquet, quite glossy with scents of kirsch, crushed strawberry, crème de cassis and a touch of vanilla. The palate is medium-bodied with quite sumptuous tannin counterbalance but a keen thread of acidity (the pH is 3.65). There is great tension here, immense purity with quite a structured, almost flinty finish that is classic in style. Though it is a Deuxième Vin, it deserves several years in bottle. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 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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