Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews (Second Growth)  

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews (Second Growth)  

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2017 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

(Futures) Suggested Retail Priice $172.00

Available November 2020

 

98 Points James Suckling

Holy…. This is so powerful and dense with amazing depth of fruit and beautifully ripe tannins tannins. Full body, layers of fruit and tannins. It’s has a long finish but then kicks off at the end. Remains classic in style. 

97 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

There was no frost at Ducru-Beaucaillou in 2017 due to its proximity to the estuary. This barrel sample comes from the final blend, which was made in early 2018. Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is intensely scented of blackcurrant cordial, blackberries and lavender with hints of crushed rocks, iron ore, rose hips and Provence herbs plus touches of wood smoke and sandalwood. Medium-bodied, very firm and grainy in the mouth, it possesses lovely freshness, lifting the intense flavors, finishing long and minerally. Sporting an incredible core of muscular mid-palate fruit, this wine should age incredibly. 

96 Points Wine Spectator

This has a warm and inviting feel, with mocha, Christmas pudding and blackberry and plum compote aromas and flavors flowing through atop fleshy, velvety structure. There’s a graphite edge along with some alluring spice accents, and this stays polished and lengthy in the end. 

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

While this is a dense wine packed with tannins, they never threaten to overwhelm the fruit. The blackberry notes and swathes of ripe fruit give the wine its opulent, ripe and generous character. While the wine will certainly age, it is going to be drinkable relatively soon, certainly by 2024. 

 

96 Points Decanter

A little less intense and concentrated than the 2016, this focusses more on rich, smoky, finessed aromatics. The overall feel is gourmet and well textured, with some welcoming rich spice. A serious contender for the top St Julien in 2017, this has wonderfully fleshy blackberry fruits, a screech of graphite adding some mineral overtones, and a great dash of grilled oak. 7,500 cases of Ducru this year instead of 10,000 – they weren’t affected by frost, but the Cabernets were just less generous this year, down to around 30hl/ha. This is accomplished winemaking, with great energy and poise. 100% new oak. 3.79pH. 

 

2016 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

(Futures) Suggested Retail Price $210.00

Available November 2019 

 

100 Points Wine Spectator

Offers a scintillating display of roasted apple wood, incense and warm ganache before the core of cassis, plum preserves and raspberry reduction starts to step forward. The finish, loaded with grip but remarkably polished, pulls everything together. A huge, undeniable wine, overt in style.

99 Points Wine Enthusiast

This wine is so stylish, with a great future that is all balance and elegance. There are structured tannins as well as ample acidity that will allow the wine to age gracefully. A great Ducru with restrained power for long-term aging. 

98 Points James Suckling

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.

98 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2016 Ducru Beaucaillou is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot cropped at 36 hectoliters per hectare between 24 September and 14 October and matured in 100% new oak barrels (for a total of 18 months). The alcohol level comes in at 13.63% with a pH of 3.71. 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. 

97 Points Decanter

Another exceptional success for St-Julien in 2016, following the longest growing season in the recorded history of the property. Reasonable alcohols, because of the slow maturation, emphasise the juiciness of the fruit. Hugely intense and concentrated black brambly fruits, with layer upon layer of stunning liquorice, dark chocolate, rich black cherry and graphite. This is an utterly beautiful wine and it approaches the essence of what owner Bruno Borie must want for this estate, I am sure. It is easy to imagine uncorking this with excitement in 10 or 15 years. The final blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, with a high tannin index of 80IPT and a 3.71pH, aged in 100% new oak for 18 months. 

 

2015 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

Suggested Retail Price $200.00

 

98 Points Vinous

The 2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou is phenomenally great. Inky, powerful and explosive, the 2015 pulses with energy in all of its dimensions. Creme de cassis, blackberry jam, graphite, smoke, leather and incense, along with the wine’s muscular tannins, convey an impression of brooding intensity. The 2015 has been nothing short of sensational on the two occasions I have tasted it so far. Readers should be prepared to be patient. Don’t miss it!

97 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou is provocatively and profoundly scented of chocolate-covered cherries, fresh black currants, crushed blueberries and licorice with touches of cigar box, roses and violets plus hints of black pepper and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and sultry with tons of seductive layers and firm, wonderfully velvety tannins, it has a very long, multilayered finish.

97 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

With its 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine has super-ripe black-currant flavors encased in firm, smoky tannins and hints of wood. Showing the opulence of the vintage and the style of Saint-Julien, it will age for many years. The wine will certainly not be ready before 2026. 

97 Points James Suckling

Aromas of oyster shell, iron and currants. Hints of iodine. Full-bodied, very tight and focused. Love the finish of sandalwood, cinnamon, violets and lavender. Wonderful tannin texture. Linear and driven. Drink in 2022.

97 Points Wine Spectator

Showy, with layers of warmed fig, roasted mesquite, black tea, incense and Turkish coffee notes, followed by waves of lush cassis, blackberry and raspberry confiture flavors. This has a graphite grounding rod, a tarry spine and riveting licorice snap details to keep it driving along. A head-turner for sure. Best from 2025 through 2045.

96 Points Decanter

Extraordinary blend of finesse and depth from 95% Cabernet. A wine with a taffeta texture that enhances the extreme purity and depth of fruit. Hard to imagine a better balanced, more vineyard-expressive wine. 

 

2014 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

 

99 Points James Suckling

Fabulous aromas of crushed berries such as blackberries and blackcurrants, not to mention spices. Wet earth and cedar, too. Complex. Full-bodied, yet agile and complete. A dense center palate. Ultra-round tannins. Everything in the right balance. Wonderful to taste but better to drink in 2022.

 

97 Points Decanter

One of the wines of the vintage, layers and layers of liquorice, graphite, cigar box, incredible deep cassis, this has such tension, this is pure suppressed power, and will run and run, zero drop in the mid palate, a beautiful slow build, one layer gently building on top of the next.

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2014 Ducru Beaucaillou showed extremely well when I tasted it with Bruno Borie during en primeur. Now in bottle, it delivers on that promise with beautifully defined blackberry and raspberry fruit infused with cedar and pencil box aromas. Quintessentially Saint Julien. The palate is very well defined with fine tannin, pitch-perfect acidity, a palpable sense of energy and frisson from start to finish that delivers plenty of tobacco-infused fruit. It is not the perfection-flirting legend that I have read elsewhere; it is just a damn good Saint Julien that is going to drink beautifully over the next 25 to 30 years.

96 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

This powerful wine has a superb mix of the crispest fruit and great structure. Blackberries and black currants shine through the tannins, expressing the liveliness of the vintage. It is so well delineated with everything in its place. The wine is certainly going to age for decades. Drink from 2027. 

95 Points Wine Spectator

Opulent, with layers of warmed fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture that loll along, yet are kept going by a terrific graphite note that is well-buried throughout. Alluring black tea, singed mesquite and bittersweet cocoa accents add to the panache. A head-turner. Best from 2020 through 2040.

 

2013 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

 

91-94 Points Vinous (Barrel Sample)

The 2013 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Black cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and scorched earth blossom on the palate in a rich, resonant wine endowed with terrific depth and intensity for the year. The 2013 is delicate, sophisticated and polished to the core. A blast of red and blue tone fruits linger on the finish. The 2013 is aging in 100% new oak, all of which it has handled impeccably. At press time, Bruno Borie plans to stick to his regime of 18 months in barrel. Readers will find more obvious wines in 2013, but few that speak to this degree of pure finesse. 

90-93 Points Wine Spectator (Barrel Sample)

 

Displays solid stuffing for the vintage, with steeped plum, blackberry and black currant fruit lined with singed mesquite, black tea and cinnamon notes. Delivers lots of range and ample toast through the finish, revealing a prominent woody side today, balanced by ample flesh. An impressive effort for the vintage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Tasted non-blind. 

91-92 Points James Suckling (Barrel Sample)

 

A new traditional styled wine with a texture that spreads across the palate with strawberry, light citrus and mineral character. Harmonious and sexy. Medium and fine. Reminds me of the excellent 1971. 

92 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Full ruby-red. Complex nose melds sweet black cherry, redcurrant, baking spices, tobacco and graphite. Very fresh and suave in the mouth, showing lively, penetrating, youthfully flinty flavors of dark fruits, spices and sweet oak. Offers real old-vine intensity and length of flavor accentuated by brisk acidity. Finishes with very smooth tannins and lingering notes of dark cherry and graphite. This serious wine is both graceful and concentrated, and is one of the best-balanced 2013s. I marveled at this wine’s precision and purity at every sip. 

89-91 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Barrel Sample)

 

A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, the 2013 Ducru Beaucaillou achieved 13% natural alcohol. This beauty possesses a lot more texture than many 2013s as well as a deep ruby/purple color, a serious mid-palate, lots of cassis and spring flower characteristics intermixed with notions of oak and forest floor, medium body, and a ripe, soft personality. It will be ideal for drinking in its first decade or more of life. There is no doubting the remarkable effort Bruno Borie has made at this gorgeous estate that frequently behaves like a first-growth. In 2013, the harvest took place between September 26 and October 9, with less than 50% of the crop going into the grand vin.

 

2012 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

 

95 Points James Suckling

Mesmerizing aromas of blackberries, licorice and mint. Wet stones too. Full-bodied and tight with super-refined and polished tannins that are pinpointed and elegant. It caresses your palate. Savory and salty on finish. Electric for the vintage. Better in 2018.

95 Points Wine Enthusiast

This is a wine with big tannins and big fruit. You can feel the wood rather than taste it, certainly smell it initially before the black currant aromas kick in. Impressive and sumptuous, it has a solid density that layers with the smoky character of the fruit and wood. Rich and complex, it needs to age. Drink from 2025.

93 Points Wine Spectator

Offers an almost lavish feel, with layers of warmed fig, blackberry paste and raspberry coulis lined with ganache, anise and fruitcake flavors. A rock-solid graphite note lines the finish, showing just the slightest twinge of the vintage’s austerity. A very admirable effort. Best from 2018 through 2027.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The color is a healthy deep ruby/purple and the wine smells beautiful, exhibiting lots of floral, creme de cassis, licorice and graphite notes. Medium-bodied but slightly deficient in the mid-palate at present, it picks up speed and finishes with serious authority and power. This 2012 should be outstanding, but it is difficult to favorably compare the 2012 to the prodigious wines produced at Ducru in 2009 and 2010. The 2012 will require 4-6 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15-20 years. 

 

2011 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

 

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

Despite the huge weight of fruit and accompanying structure, this is a stylish wine. It’s impressively dense, concentrated and solid. At the same time, the juicy black fruits give a generous, full-in-the-mouth character. Drink this very fine wine from 2022.

94 Points Wine Spectator

This is rather well-endowed for the vintage, with thickly layered ganache, currant paste, fig sauce and blackberry confiture notes still grappling with one another, while briary grip and dark spice fill out the toast-fueled finish. Very long, showing a level of power that belies the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2028.

93 Points James Suckling

This shows excellent aromas of crushed berries, minerals and roses. Full body with silky, balanced tannins. Fruity and reserved. Shows wonderful finesse for the Médoc in 2011. Better after 2018.

92 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2011 Ducru Beaucaillou (which normally represents 1/3 to ½ of the entire crop) possesses a dense ruby/purple color along with a beautiful nose of sweet creme de cassis, crushed rock and spring flower aromas. This rich, medium to full-bodied St.-Julien is among the most concentrated wines of the Medoc. Moderate tannin is sweet and well-integrated. This beauty will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring and keep for two decades.

 

2010 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Reviews

 

100 Points James Suckling

The nose is phenomenal with perfect aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon with currant bush, blackberries and minerals. A pure expression of Cab. The palate is perfect with a full body, but has perfectly integrated tannins with a texture like the finest cashmere. It’s strong but noble with perfect form and beauty. All in harmony. A fabulous wine that everyone who loves Bordeaux should have a bottle or case of. Better in 2020.

98 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

With loads of minerality, a terrific opaque purple color, and slightly more structure and tannin than either Poyferre or St.-Pierre (and that’s saying something), this is a blockbuster, fabulous Ducru Beaucaillou that should be at its best a good decade from now and last 40-50 years. The proprietor is not alone in thinking this is the finest Ducru Beaucaillou since the 1961. The classic wet rock, creme de cassis, subtle oak and gravelly stoniness of the vineyard come through in this spectacular, full-bodied, gorgeously pure and intense effort. This is wine for the ages that should be forgotten for at least a decade.

97 Points Wine Spectator

Not shy at all, with a flamboyant, aromatic profile of roasted apple wood and warm ganache, featuring more than enough stuffing in the form of thickly layered blackberry paste, steeped fig and pastis-soaked plum flavors. The structure is massive but incredibly polished, and the fruit displays terrific purity through the graphite-supported finish. Large-scale and extremely well-rendered. Best from 2020 through 2040.

96 Points Wine Enthusiast

A grand wine, it has great ripeness and richness, majestic in its structure and upright character. It is concentrated, perfumed and opulent. The style of Ducru Beaucaillou is both generous and powerful, and obviously ageworthy. Cellar Selection.