A glorious example of St Julien and the benefits of its warmer vineyards that sit alongside the Gironde Estuary. Beautifully scented, with hints of violets and summer pudding fruits. In the palate this is generous, with rich fruit and a fine silky tannic structure. A beautifully textured wine, with subtle freshness and great length. A real joy.
This hugely classy wine highlights the superb location and terroir of this fine estate. Deeply opaque in colour, it balances subtle floral aromas with focused black fruits, hints of liquorice and spice. With wonderful purity, sweetness and refined intensity. There is nothing forced about this delicious wine and the persistent flavours linger for a very long time. Delicious.
The Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2014 is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that was picked between 25 September and 15 October and matured in 100% new oak as usual. The IPT is 81, the pH 3.81. Compared to recent vintages the nose is more backward, sultry and less explosive although there is still impressive concentration here. It's just "buttoned down" at present. (A second sample showed a little more sous-bois, more complexity than the first.) The palate is medium-bodied and masculine, a little chalky in the mouth with a firm backbone. Bruno Borie has overseen a more classic Ducru-Beaucaillou, one that I suspect will be less approachable than the last three vintages, boasting a Pauillac-like, graphite-infused finish that just needs to gain a little more persistence during its élevage. This is one wine that actually showed better on my second visit, demonstrating more élan and brio, but nuances notwithstanding, it is another magnificent Ducru-Beaucaillou to add to the roster.
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (the target assemblage) will be aged for 18 months in 100% new oak. pH 3.81. Very dense crimson. Cedary nose. Scented and more grounded with more density than the other wines from this stable. Firm finish with lots of fine velvety tannin. Masses of tannin (IPT 81). One of the most backward wines. 13.5% Drink 2026-2043
Stunning aromas of licorice, blackcurrants, minerals, dried rose petals and wet earth. Full body, incredibly intense fruit yet this remains compacted and toned with tannins. Long, long finish. What a wine.
The 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou is one of the richest, most explosive wines of the year. Scents of blackberry jam, crème de cassis, graphite, pencil shavings, exotic spices and lavender meld into a plush core of super-ripe fruit in a decidedly opulent, full-throttle Ducru that is strikingly beautiful today. The 2014 is likely to require many years to drop some of its baby fat, but it is unquestionably stunning. Veins of saline-inflected minerality add a measure of freshness to the unctuous yet brooding finish. Readers who can find the 2014 should not hesitate, as it is truly magnificent. In 2014, the blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.
Superb nose, totally luscious fruit for 95% Cabernet Sauvignon – pure vineyard ripeness. A total success in this vintage as one can now expect from Ducru. Drink: 2020-2040
(90 Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 Merlot) | 13.5% alc. | 100% new oak. | 81 IPT. This is a very plush, luxurious, charry and exotic wine with dense black fruit and sooty tannins. It seems heavier and more high octane than its declared 13.5% and it is very focussed and almost New Worldy in its Cabernet message. There are stemmy highlights, which Ducru describes as ‘cedar’ in its propaganda and I fear that it is a little over-extracted but this is always a wine which makes a statement and so I should have expected some degree of vinous fireworks. It will calm, but I feel compelled to add a ‘?’ to my score because I am concerned that the oak is too dominant, at the moment, for this fruit and this makes me worry for the future. I will report back after it is bottled.
Instantly recognisable by its sunny Mediterranean-hued label,Ducru Beaucaillou is always a favourite amongst wine aficionados. Owned by the Borie family over the last 60 years, it has been run by Bruno, the eldest son of the late Jean-Eugène, since 2003. This change in leadership seems to have had a positive effect in all vintages since. Like certain other châteaux in Bordeaux, Ducru carries out cold macerations during their vinification process, a technique in which grapes are steeped in their own juice at low temperatures to gently extract vibrant colour and fleshy fruit.
St Julien is like the middle child of the Médoc - not as assertive as Pauillac or as coquettish as Margaux. It lies firmly between the two more outspoken communes and as a result produces a blend of them both. St Julien's wines have often been sought out by aficionados for their balance and consistency, particularly in the UK. Yet due to its middle child nature, it can occasionally be overlooked globally and as a result underrated by those markets outside the UK. Despite the fact that it has no first growths, it has several second growths including Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré and Ducru Beaucaillou as well as the celebrated châteaux such as Talbot and Beychevelle.