Hot on the heels of Léoville Poyferré is another spectacular St Julien, Ch Ducru Beaucaillou, released this morning at £852 per 6 bottles IB.
This wine has been on stellar form in recent vintages, and much of that is down to just how little fruit makes the grade and is selected for the Grand Vin. There is always power behind Bruno Borie’s wines, but there is also clear structure, balance and freshness, which will make this wine one of the greats. Bruno now makes more Croix de Beaucaillou (the second wine) than Ducru Beaucaillou itself and production of the Grand Vin has almost halved since the 1990s.
Ch Ducru Beaucaillou 2ème Cru St Julien 2016
£852.00 per 6 bottles IB
£1704.00 per 12 bottles IB
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. The intensity of fruit is so precise and poised, this wine’s quality is clear from the start. The 100% new French oak is seamlessly integrated with the pure, perfumed aromas of blackcurrants, cedar and spice. The tannins melt in the mouth, and the high acid gives tremendous freshness. All these elements are neatly tied up in a balanced 13.5% alcohol. Drink 2026-2038. 94-96 points, Goedhuis & Co
The bouquet is very closed at first, and so I aerated the Grand Vin by transferring from one glass to another. It gradually unfurls to reveal scents of blackberry, bilberry, cedar and a touch of pencil lead. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm backbone cloaked in layers of black fruit. The new oak is probably more present here than some of its peers, but there is more than sufficient substance to absorb that. The mineralité surfaces right towards the persistent finish, completing what is a Ducru Beaucaillou built for the long term. Drink Date 2026-2065. 96-98 points, Neal Martin
Very focused and reserved with a mineral, blackberry, licorice and blackcurrant character. Full and refined. Walking a tightrope between steely tannins and and dark fruit. This is highly intellectual and unique. Great finish. Remake of the extraordinary 2014? Stronger than the 2015, for sure. 97-98 points, James Suckling
One of the highlights of the vintage, the 2016 Ducru-Beaucaillou is simply magnificent. Vertical structure and intensity in all of its dimensions make a strong opening statement. Dark blue and black fruit, spice, new leather and smoke run through this superb, spectacularly rich, voluptuous Saint-Julien. The tannins are present, but they are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Nothing really stands out. In the end, the 2016 is a wine of spectacular balance and pure class. The natural richness comes through in the gravitas and profoundness of the finish. 94-97 points, Antonio Galloni
Ducru has a magnificent nose with layers of fruit and there is some wonderful density here with admirable focus. The tannins are bright and they lift the wine superbly. The tone is not quite as dark as the Pauillacs and it is also more red-fruited in spite of the high Cabernet Sauvignon percentage and yet this is a more sensual style. Lovely and pure, this is a more forward wine than many but it will also keep for a long time because the tannins are so refined. 18.5+ points, Matthew Jukes