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Château Ducru-Beaucaillou


Address: 33250 St Julien-Beychevelle

Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 73 16 73


Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is a great St Julien estate. Owned by the Borie family, since 2003 it has been run with great style by Bruno Borie. It has an excellent vineyard position overlooking the Gironde river. Recently Ducru’s pricing has mirrored Château Cos d’Estournel’s ‘confident’ approach to the marketplace. The 2009 was released at £2000 a case. My recent tastings have been limited to the 2013, 2014 & the 2015 vintages. The second wine here is La Croix de Beaucaillou. The estate also produces Château Lalande-Borie.

Vineyard/Terroir:  75 hectares planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines around 40 years, 10,000 per hectare and yield of 50 hectolitres per hectare.  

Winemaking/Elévage: Temperature controlled fermentation in state-of-the-art cellar. Aged in barrel for between 18-20 months depending on the vintage and between 50-60% new oak each year.

  • 2015 Deep and attractive looking in the glass; purple at edge; lovely pure Cabernet aromatics – simply adorable; perfumed and virtually perfect aromatically; creamy palate; full and voluptuously styled yet again; lovely ripe Cabernet here; beautiful wine; caressing and yet fresh; great length too. Considerable power and ripe tannin. Wonderful. One of the wines of the vintage on the left bank for me. [95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 13.4% alc, TA 3.07, pH 3.89, IPT 75, 100% new oak]. Drink 2023-2045. 95-97
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; tight to the rim; purple at edge; lovely Cabernet fruit; blackcurrant, cassis; lifted and very attractive; black cherry notes too; plenty of fruit on the palate and considerable depth; concentration here but also acidity and vibrant fruit; blackcurrant and cassis tones; some spice; very fresh; chewy finish but ripe tannins. Complex wine. Substantial. [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 13.5alc, TA 3.65, pH 3.81, IPT 81, 100% new oak]. Drink 2022-2035. 94-96+
  • 2013 Deeper; vibrant purple at edge; glossy look; pure blackcurrants, pure, saline quality; excellent purity on the palate, very linear with a crisp quality and vibrancy; very nicely balanced overall – has genuine delicacy and elegance. Should come together nicely. Pure and attractive St Julien. [90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 13% alc, TA 3.59, pH 3.6, IPT 68, 100% new oak]. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 3/4/14. Drink 2018-2030. 90-92
  • 1996 Deep; quite light on the nose; some tobacco; some perfume; quite elegant; lacks a little oomph; extract but tannic and a little mean on the finish. May improve with further bottle age. 88+/100 May ‘08
  • 1990 Deep; big beefy wine; attractive open nose; full of developed characters, some perfume and tobacco; big and chewy on the palate, lots of extract; tobacco and leather; chewy with tannin at the end. Enjoyed this. No hint here of the ‘musty’ characters that have apparently affected some batches of this vintage. A very good bottle. 91+/100 May ‘08
  • 1985 Deep red; bit of earth; tobacco, nice; quite attractive and complex nose; some ripe tones but coarse tannins that haven’t softened; grip at the end. Reasonable wine but tannins bit coarse. 88/100 May ‘08
  • 1975 Deep red/brick at edge; tough nose; tannic frame, fruit going with dusty tannins. Now nothing special 82/100 ‘04
Croix de Beaucaillou, St Julien
  • 2015 Lovely colour; lots of depth; dark at centre; healthy vibrant purple; perfume in the glass; cream; blackcurrants; ripe plum; wonderful mouthful too; concentrated yet supple and harmonious; this is extremely attractive young Bordeaux with a voluptuousness to the mid palate. Lovely. [52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, TA 3.18, pH 3.77 IPT 70, 60% new oak]. Drink 2022-2030. 93-95
  • 2014 Deep and saturated colour; depth; vibrant colour at edge; blackcurrant perfume; lively; aromatic; lifted; very bright fruit on the nose; lots of flavour and matter and extract on the mid-palate; lots of fruit here; good concentration and lively freshness. [60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 13.25alc, TA 3.59, pH 3.76, IPT 78, 60% new oak]. Drink 2019-2030. Tasted at Ducru 30 March, 2015. 90-92
  • 2013 Deeper; vibrant and attractive floral perfume; sweet and sour cherry; spices; nice entry on the palate; soft with good density but elegant and round. Much more generosity than many in this vintage. Elegant and fruit driven.[52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 13.15% alc, TA 3.5, pH 3.73, IPT 65, 60% new oak]. Drink 2017-2024. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. 86-88+
Château Lalande-Borie, St Julien
  • 2015 Bold colour; vibrant edge; pretty wine, violet lift with ripe cherry and black fruit tones; fresh Bordeaux; supple palate; fresh and alive; harmonious with nice texture; good stuff! Appetising and balanced St Julien. This will drink well from the off. [55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alc, TA 3.01, pH 3.8, IPT 65, 30% new oak]. Drink 2021-2028. 90-91+
  • 2014 Deep and saturated look; lovely Cabernet aromatics; stalky blackcurrants but some strawberry notes; really positive and fresh with some perfume; blackcurrants on the palate; really vibrant; crunchy acids and textured palate; plenty of flesh and matter here – perfumed and blackcurrant. This is excellent and classic. [50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 13.45 alc, TA 3.57, pH 3.76, IPT 74, 30% new oak]. Drink 2019-2028. Tasted at Ducru 30 March, 2015. 88-90+
  • 2013 Mid depth; pretty and perfumed; cherry and raspberry notes; pretty; spicy and vibrant palate with grip and some sap. Spicy finish. Elegant and crisp.[70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. 12.95% alc, TA 3.61, pH 3.7, IPT 60, 30% new oak]. Tasted at Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. Drink 2016-2024. 85-87

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