Ducru Beaucaillou 2011

SubregionSt Julien

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Tasting Notes

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. Drink 2017 - 2037.

Score: 92+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (212), May 2014

One of the vintage's stars, the 2011 Ducru Beaucaillou is a riveting blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. It boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, licorice, subtle wood smoke and spring flowers, a surprising, full-bodied mouthfeel, and stunning intensity, purity, symmetry and length. Production at this estate used to be 12,000-15,000 cases, but after instituting a strict selection in addition to the smallest yields ever at this vineyard, it is down to 9,000 cases. The 2011 has considerable tannin, but it is soft and well-integrated. It should drink well for 20+ years. Readers should also be aware of just how sensational the second wine can be.

If you haven't noticed yet, it's time to jump on Bruno Borie's bandwagon for the two wines being produced from separate parts of the Ducru Beaucaillou vineyard.

Score: 93/95Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012

The Grand Vin is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that is being aged in 95% new oak. It has a broody, introspective bouquet compared to the 2009 and 2010 as one would expect, although it is well defined with fine minerality, a seam of dried herbs, a touch of rosemary and thyme underneath a patina of black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, citric entry. There is a slight hardness to the tannins although that will soften in time, although it is still struck through with a tensile streak. The finish has a firm tannic backbone, hints of soy and a saline touch towards the finish. This is an intriguing Ducru that should repay extended cellaring. Tasted April 2012.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012

This sweet white is quite oily, with dried-pineapple and mango character. It's full-bodied, very sweet and juicy on finish. Thick and rich. Drink now or hold.

Score: 93James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2014

Fabulous aromas of blackberries, plums, meat and rose petals. Full body, with special richness for the vintage with a sweetness not seen in many wines. Velvety tannins that are polished and beautiful. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Little more Merlot than normal.

Score: 94/95James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012

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. There is 30% less volume here than in 2010 as the yield was only 25hl/ha. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. This is a big and bold expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. Very concentrated and quite a block of a wine. Strong, rich and powerful with firm tannins and a long finish.

Score: 17Farr Vintners, March 2012

The nose has lots of fruit deep rich and sweet. Black cherry and cassis fill out the start of the palate damson and sloes enrich the middle all quite chewy and chunky lots of damsons. The tannins are firm but feel ripe giving structure but not holding back the fruit.

Score: 92/95Derek Smedley MW, April 2012

This isn't quite as good as the 2010 and 2009 Ducrus, but it's not far behind: a concentrated, yet very polished St Julien from the lowest yields ever at the château. Sweet and intense, with hauntingly floral aromas, notes of cassis, plums and currant, fresh acidity and rich, yet silky tannins leading to a bright, refreshing finish. Powerful yet restrained, this is a keeper. 15+ years.

Score: 95Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012

Strikingly floral Cabernet ripeness, finesse and purity, lovely texture, beautifully expressive almost Margaux style, total opposite to Las Cases. Drink 2017-2030.

Score: 18Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com, April 2012

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.