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Ducru Beaucaillou 2016

Subregion France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St Julien
Grape VarietyCabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

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.

View all vintages of this wine | View all wines by Château Ducru-Beaucaillou


Tasting Notes

Super perfumed, attractive violets with a thread of fresh blueberries, cassis, blackberries and dark plums, delivering a very enticing impression. Beautiful ripeness here. The tannins are perfectly ripe and layers meld into each other, carrying deep, graceful and plush, velvety dark fruit long into the vibrant and seductive, chocolate-laced finish. Great potential. Try from 2024.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019

Made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, the 2016 Ducru-Beaucaillou is deep garnet colored. It needs a little coaxing before it blasts out of the glass with notes of creme de cassis, blackberry preserves, and stewed plums, plus suggestions of licorice, tar, crushed rocks, and finally a beautiful waft of violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the concentrated, muscular black fruit flavors, finishing very long with loads of earth and mineral-inspired layers.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent, December 2022

At a push, if you really were patient with aerating this, you could drink it over Christmas - just because the tannins are so silky once they have time to unwind. It's an extremely impressive Ducru that will age for deacdes, bursting with the estate signature of cassis liqueur, bilberry, slate, cigar box, smoked earth and cocoa beans. Firm tannins that are richly textured and already showing elasticity. The finish just goes on and on, and it's extremely easy to fall in love with. 36hl/h yield. 100% new oak.

Jane Anson, JaneAnson.com, October 2021

Tasted blind. Nose a little duller than some. Wood? Thick and sweet. Less freshness than most with slightly clumsy oak. Sour finish.
Drink 2024 – 2036

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, February 2020

Showing how strong the Médoc is in 2016, the 2016 Ducru-Beaucaillou is going to rival the 2009 and 2010 (although it’s more in the style of 2010). Inky colored and loaded with classy notes of crème de cassis, liquid violets, blueberries, graphite and building minerality, it’s full-bodied, concentrated, rich, deep, and tannic. This is a tour de force readers should snatch up. 2026 - 2066

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, November 2017

Spring violets the nose has a fragrant floral charm the start of the palate has a mix of fresh fruits quite light but there is mid richness depth sweet fruit. The tannins are fine integrated the back palate supple and fleshy the finish stylish lighter with blueberry freshness. 2026-45

Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2017

A delicious, focused, well-structured Ducru from a very fine vintage, this has fine tannins, very stylish oak integration, dark berry scents, some Asian spices and a silky, polished finish. Deceptively forward, because this should age beautifully in bottle. 2025-40

Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2017
Read more tasting notes...

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. Drink 2026 - 2065.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230), April 2017

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.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, March 2017

Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Ducru-Beaucaillou delivers a pronounced, enticing nose of baked plums, blueberry preserves, fruitcake and boysenberry with suggestions of lilacs, mocha, hoisin and exotic spices plus a waft of cedar chest. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, the palate has layer upon layer of black fruit preserves and spicy nuances, matched by a very firm, grainy frame, finishing with epic length and depth. 2020 - 2058

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (Aug 2020 W), August 2020

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Ducru-Beaucaillou features a wonderfully savory, earthy/meaty nose, delivering well-defined notes of tapenade, truffles, charcuterie and sautéed herbs over crème de cassis, wild blueberries and kirsch with wafts of pencil lead and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with the taut, muscular fruit well framed by very firm yet very ripe and finely grained tannins, offering a quiet intensity of red fruit and mineral sparks and finishing with epic length. 2022-2058.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate, November 2018

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.

Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2017

Very dark. Racy and sinewy with lots of richness and energy. Smooth and supple and quite sweet – arguably too sweet? – but with masses of tannins buried down there. Blackberry compote mixed with health juice. 13.63%
Drink 2026-2046

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2017
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.