Ch Ducru Beaucaillou has always had a special place in my affections. When I was sent to Bordeaux as a callow youth, it was Ronald Barton and Jean-Eugene Borie who were not only incredibly kind to me, but can also be blamed for me joining the wine trade.
I was delighted to be invited to the fantastic tasting that Bruno organised for the UK’s leading wine merchants and top Bordeaux Negociants. The tasting of 12 vintages (2003-2014) since he took over from his brother Francois Xavier was not to be missed.
The great vintages were simply wonderful with 2010 just pipping 2009 and 2005. However, what was really exciting were the years that are generally considered to be of lesser quality. For drinking now, the 2004 is delicious and will go on ageing happily.
You would not be accused of murder if you took a bottle of 2007 out of the cellar as it had real swallow appeal. The 2012 is going to be a very good wine indeed. What was particularly exciting was the quality of 2011; a vintage that has been overlooked by many. If there are lots more 2011s from other Chateau that taste as good as Ch Ducru Beaucaillou we are all in for some lovely surprises.
Finally, the last of the dozen was the 2014 which was an utterly glorious wine and in time will be rated amongst the best vintages of the last 20 years. Anyone who has it in their cellar is very lucky and for those who haven’t you should search out this stunning wine (we can source it for you at £950 per 12 IB). Bruno’s great achievement since he took over is to ensure that even in difficult vintages Ch Ducru Beaucaillou makes wines that are of outstanding quality.
The tasting was followed by an utterly delicious lunch at Alain Ducasse’s brilliant restaurant at the Dorchester.