Ducru Beaucaillou 2017

RegionBordeaux
SubregionSt Julien
ColourRed
TypeStill

Ducru is on top form these days. Bruno Borie has made some very serious wines at Ducru in recent vintages with many vats previously destined for the grand vin now being used for the second label. From 2003 onwards production of the first wine has been reduced from 15,000-20,000 cs to 9,000-11,000 cs. There is now more second wine - La Croix de Beaucaillou - than there is Grand Vin. Bruno's policy is now to only select fruit from the heart of the Ducru vineyard, overlooking the estuary for the Grand Vin. Ducru is clearly back where it belongs at the top of the super-second league.


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Tasting Notes

This is a strongly Cabernet Sauvignon wine in 2017 - 90% - with 10% Merlot. Picked 18-30th September and to be aged for 18 months in 100% new oak. Bruno Borie believes this to be a cross between the style of the 2014 and 2015 vintages. The deep purple colour and ripe blue fruits certainly show elements of 2015, though there is much more freshness. The notes of violet and cool red fruits certainly show this, though they are bolstered by the notes of vanilla and roasted coffee. The palate is more similar to 2014, with fresh acidity and elegant blue and black fruits. Dark chocolate notes give a cocoa-like perception for the refined silky and ripe tannins, working wonderfully with the sweet vanilla from the new oak. The fruit core is compact and pure through to the finish. This is a wine of freshness, purity and precision with flecks of exuberance and hedonism that add to the complexity.

Score: 16.5+Farr Vintners, April 2018

The 2017 Ducru Beaucaillou was picked from 18 to 23 September for the Merlot, and from 25 to 30 September for the Cabernets. It is matured in 100% new oak over 18 months. It offers copious black fruit, violets, bay leaf and Asian spice notes on the nose that gathers momentum in the glass after a deceptively understated opening. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin, the oak nicely integrated, not quite as harmonious as the 2016 but then again, few 2017s are. There is a rigid structure to this Ducru Beaucaillou underneath the carapace of ripe black fruit with touches of tobacco and spice lingering on the aftertaste. It is probably going to require more cellar age than many of its peers but it will be worth the wait. Drink 2024 - 2045.

Score: 93/95Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018

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.

Score: 97/98James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018

The 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is distinctly sleek and polished, with a real air of sensuality. Finessed and racy to the core, the 2017 is all about elegance rather than the power that informed both the 2015 and 2016. Red-toned fruit, plush texture and silky tannins all contribute to the wine's restrained feel. A host of floral notes add brightness as the wine opens up in the glass. There is so much to like in the 2017. The blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot.

Score: 93/96Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (236), May 2018

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.

Score: 95/97+Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018

Very dark with black core. Super-refined dark fruit on the nose, ripe but not overly. Just a touch – and nicely – smoky. Chewy, deep tannin texture shot through with lovely juicy fruit, red and black. Lots of energy and the oak well in the background. Firm and chewy tannins and needs time but has a long fresh finish – lovely fresh fruit to the end that is entwined with the tannins to keep them moving across your palate.
Drink 2027-2040

Score: 17.5Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018

Brooding richness depth of fruit the black fruits are sweet and ripe. Fine tannins support the mid palate has suppleness and richness yet an underlying freshness that gives balance and harmony. Drink 2026 - 2040.

Score: 92/95Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, May 2018

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.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2040

Score: 96Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018

Being forced to harvest in only five days at the end of September on account of rain on the horizon, this hand was played by the elements and it benefitted Ducru immeasurably. This is an extremely energetic wine with fabulous flavours and the nose alone is terrific. The edge of slight ‘under-ripeness’ is thrilling. There are herb and spice notes here that I have never encountered in Ducru before. The finish has seriously impressive length and also spice and I venture that this will be a remarkable wine in years to come. This is an identity wine for Ducru and this property. Only 7500 cases were made, so this will come to be a very sought after wine. I have given this wine a huge score in this vintage because I am completely mesmerised by its magical charms.

Score: 19+Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.