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. It has become instrumental to their style, and it is undoubtedly apparent in their 2006. Plump and velvety with a polished mouthfeel and underlying freshness, it is rich and approachable yet finely mineral and structured.
This classic, backward, tannic St.-Julien is made in the style of the 1996 and 1986. The 2006 Ducru Beaucaillou possesses a dense purple color along with a sweet perfume of graphite, black raspberries, cassis, licorice, and subtle toasty oak. Despite their prominent place in the wine'sstructure, the sweetness of the tannins and the full-bodied, muscular style suggest exceptional patience will be required. This is a big, substantial, meaty, masculine wine built for considerable longevity. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035.
Similar in style to the 1996, proprietor Bruno Borie continues to curtail yields, now producing just under 10,000 cases of the grand vin, and the rest of the production going into the increasingly high quality second wine, La Croix de Ducru Beaucaillou. The backward, tannic, dense purple-colored 2006 Ducru Beaucaillou offers sweet mineral-infused black cherry and cassis fruit interwoven with notions of graphite and truffles. Powerful, pure, rich, and intense, it should be at its peak between 2017-2035.
The grapes for this wine come from about half of the 75 ha estate - the half closest to the Gironde, where at dawn it can be 5 degrees warmer than Listrac. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot. Deep crimson. Spicy, finely polished nose. Very glossy, only very slightly inky. Glossy, polished ink. Gentle tastes as though it has been ripened gently. The tannins are very fine, pretty sandpapery. Very delicate though a little dry on the finish. Not much real fruit weight in the middle. Inky finish. Gouleyant, very fine, very classic indeed. In the true sense of classic rather than ‘= off vintage'. Will surely appeal mainly to classicists. [See 2005] Rather in the mould ofCh Margaux.
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.