Ducru Beaucaillou 2018

SubregionSt Julien

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. In 2018 the "hang time" of 120 days was the longest ever and it also recorded the highest level of alcohol (14.5) and tannin with the smallest berries. Bruno describes this as "the richest Ducru ever" and compares it to 1945 and 1961. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot with 18 months maturation in 100% new oak.

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Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Per Score Help
Bordeaux2018Ducru BeaucaillouBT301,729.00cs95/97 NMAdd to Basket
Bordeaux2018Ducru BeaucaillouBT610865.00cs95/97 NMAdd to Basket
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Tasting Notes

The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is currently halfway through its barrel maturation, the usual 18 months in 100% new French oak. It was picked from 25 September until 10 October. The bouquet is very intense and needs a lot of coaxing from the glass - more so than previous vintages. It eventually, almost reluctantly reveals tightly-wound black fruit laced with violet petals and touches of wild mint. It feels quite Margaux-like. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with layers of black fruit infused with graphite and minerals, a crescendo of flavours towards the powerful and quite grippy finish. Compared to the Croix de Beaucaillou, I find the alcohol more contained (14.5%), and it delivers lovely spicy notes that tingle on the tongue after the wine has departed. It will need at least a decade in bottle. Drink 2029-2055.

Score: 95/97Neal Martin, vinous.com, November 2019

The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, to be aged 18 months in 100% new barriques. It has a pH of 3.7, 14.5% alcohol and an IPT (total polyphenol index) of 95. Very deep purple-black in color, it prances out of the glass with flamboyant, showy scents of cinnamon stick, wilted roses, star anise, fallen leaves and Ceylon tea with a core of blackcurrant cordial, black cherry compote, violets, chocolate mint and espresso plus a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied, opulent and decadently fruited with layer upon layer of black/blue fruit and floral nuances, it has an exquisitely ripe, fine-grained frame and fantastic freshness supporting the multifaceted, beguiling fruit, finishing with tons of fragrant flowers and mineral sparks. At once beautifully elegant and wonderfully bold. About 7,000 cases of the grand vin will be produced, really focusing on the area around the estate.

Score: 97/99Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (April 2019), April 2019

This is a fantastic Brainaire with deep and dark fruit, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Lots of raspberries, too. Full-bodied with firm and creamy tannins and a super long finish. We will see if it’s better than 2016, but on its way.

Score: 95/96James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2019

The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a wine of pure and total sensual beauty. Layers of intense fruit nearly cover the massive tannins that lurk beneath. Sweet floral notes, spice, mint, lavender and rose petals all grace a sublime Ducru that is long on class and character. In most recent vintages, Ducru has been a tannic behemoth, but the 2018 is remarkably silky, sumptuous and nuanced. In 2018, Ducru is not an obvious wine, but it is exceptionally beautiful. The 2018 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. New oak is 100%. Tasted two times.

Score: 95/98Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019

85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. pH 3.7, 18 months in 100% new oak. Barrel sample.
Black core. Intense black fruit. Highly structured but smooth, like thick velvet. Generous in fruit and massive but still surprisingly fresh. Long and refined finish even with all this power and density. Rich but not overly sweet or overripe. Savoury long finish. Hard to judge now. (JH) 14.5%
Drink 2028-2043

Score: 17+Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2019

Deep purple in colour, with a pure cassis, cedar, tobacco and black cherry nose. There is a light touch of incense, but this is a classic, enticing St Julien. The palate is glossy, rich and powerful. The tannins are chalky but very refined, allowing the pure, ripe fruit to shine through. This is exotic and hedonistic, with cassis, damson, nutmeg and liquorice all on display. Despite this opulence, there is freshness of acidity that prevents any excess and gives focus on a long, spicy and pure finish.

Score: 17.5+Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, April 2019

The grand vin of this terrific estate, the 2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is based on 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that will spend 18 months in new barrels. It’s as classy as they come, boasting a deep purple/blue color as well as awesome notes of pure crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, crushed rock-like minerality, and violets. Haute couture at its finest, with full-bodied richness, building structure and tannins, and remarkable purity, it’s certainly in the same ballpark as the magical 2016. It will be approachable in just 4-5 years yet keep for 40+.

Score: 97/100Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, May 2019

Another rock 'em sock 'em St.-Julien here, brimming with nearly exotic blackberry, plum, blueberry and açaí berry reduction notes, bristling with brambly energy and racing through a graphite-edged finish. Shows gorgeous perfume throughout, despite the fairly obvious level of concentration.

Score: 96/99James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, March 2019

(85 Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 Merlot) | 100% new oak – matured for 18 months. | 14.5% alc | 3.7pH | 95 IPT The berries here were around 10-15% smaller than in regular vintages and this goes some way to explaining the volume of flavour and devastating stance of this imperial creation. The key to making such a masterpiece at Ducru was avoiding over-extraction coupled with the care and attention that they paid during winemaking. Réjouissant was the word that owner Bruno Borie used when we tasted this wine together and I know that this translates as ‘worthy of rejoicing’, but also ‘heartening’ and ‘gratifying’. This wine is all of these things and more. It is nothing short of a masterpiece in my opinion. Of course Ducru is often a flamboyant wine and in this vintage, with its extraordinary growing season, those Châteaux that are used to creating larger-framed more ostentatious styles of wine were bound to do very well. With all of the exuberance one might expect under this label but also with immense reserve and a heightened IQ this wine sets a new standard for this estate. It is not a once in a decade wine - it is a once in half a century wine. Control and precision are the watchwords here and this is done of such a scale and with such panache that it is sensational. This is a wine which will amaze every single person on the planet. I cannot think how it could be improved. This is such a detailed wine with so much fruit integrity it is amazing and I have never tasted anything like it from this property. It follows that I am honour-bound to award this delicious wine a perfect score.

Score: 20+Matthew Jukes, MatthewJukes.com, April 2019

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