|France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > St 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.
The wine of the vintage in Saint-Julien, if not all of the Médoc, the 2019 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is based on 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, aged in 100% new French oak, that hit a natural alcohol of 14.2% with a monster IPT (number of tannins) of 88. It's certainly one of the most concentrated Saint-Juliens, revealing a dense purple hue to go with a stacked bouquet of crème de cassis, freshly sharpened pencils, damp clay, tobacco, and hints of spring flowers. Concentrated, full-bodied, and powerful, it has incredible tannins, flawless balance, and a gorgeous finish. While most estates today are playing it safe and producing more ethereal, elegant wines that drink well right out of the gate, thankfully, this estate continues to make concentrated, powerful, age-worthy wines, and this heavenly beauty is as good as it gets! It will need a decade of bottle age to hit the early stages of maturity and will evolve for 50 years or more. Bravo to Bruno Borie!
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou is deep garnet-purple in color. It has closed a little since last tasting a few months ago, requiring considerable shaking to bring out notes of blackcurrant pastilles, redcurrant jelly, and wild blueberries plus hints of lilacs, mocha, and black olives. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with bright, vibrant, black fruit with a lively backbone and very fine-grained tannins, finishing long and fragrant. This is beautiful!
Powerful and muscular, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou offers up aromas of cassis, raspberries and cherries mingled with notions of violets and iris, framed by a generous application of creamy new oak. Full-bodied, velvety and concentrated, it's rich but lively, with a deep core of fruit and an ample endowment of ripe, powdery tannins. Fuller maturity and a more rigorous selection over the last two decades have brought what proprietor Bruno Borie characterizes as additional "punch" to this wine, in the form of unprecedented levels of anthocyanins and tannins, but all that substance and structure will require some patience before we'll see if Ducru is still Saint-Julien's most elegant wine.Drink Date 2029 - 2065
From: Bordeaux 2019: The Southwold Tasting (Feb 2023)
The 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou has a pastille-like purity on the nose - black cherries, blueberry, quite floral and Margaux-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with pliant tannins, showy and opulent, yet undeniably there is real backbone behind this Saint-Julien. Velvety smooth on the finish, this is the right way to produce decadent Left Bank Bordeaux. Fabulous. Tasted blind at the Southwold annual tasting.
- By Neal Martin on January 2023
This is so seductive on the nose, with perfumes of violets, blackcurrants, raspberries, and orange peel. Subtle. Ethereal. Full-bodied with such fine tannins and delicacy, with great length and beauty. Sophisticated and refined. Really amazing purity and depth. Great length, too. 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot. Leave this for at least five or six years.
This is brimming with personality, with inky depths to the colour and clear austerity on the opening beats. As it opens, the concententrated cassis and blueberry fruits switch from being stretched taut to a softer creamy texture. Full of precision and skillful blending of liquorice, cigar box and bitter dark chocolate with fresh acidities that hold right through the core of the wine. Signature St Julien elegance but with uncompromising swagger, one of the wines of the vintage. Blends are exactly as they were during En Primeur, with even the press wines added before the En Primeur tastings, and it is delivering on promise. 100% new oak (with the staves unusually seasoned for six years before being made into barrels), 3.8ph. 300th vintage of Ducru.
Tasted blind. Very dark indeed. Healthy colour. Opulent, black-cherry-compote nose. Hint of goat’s cheese. A bit late 20th century, and it will certainly be admired in some quarters. Dry, hot finish. 14%
In 2019 the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Merlot. 14.2% alcohol. Maturation in 100% new oak for 18 months. Deep ruby purple in the glass with oily, rich blueberry and blackcurrant fruit on the nose. The palate is tightly wound and dense, unfurling with notes of tobacco, dark chocolate and rich cassis. Grippy with waves of chewy but ripe tannins, this is a structured vin de garde that will need time in the bottle - but there is great potential here. The long, incense and bramble finish is testament to this. A powerful Ducru Beaucaillou.
The 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou, which was matured in 100% new oak for 12 months, has a glorious bouquet of cigar humidor, cedar, black fruit and a touch of black truffle, very complex and quite compelling. The palate is still very Pauillac-inspired in style, and finely proportioned, with chiseled tannins. Displaying superb clarity and salinity on the finish, this feels very persistent and utterly charming. It will repay a decade in bottle and then last several more. I believe this will outperform the 2018 in the long run. Drink 2030-2070.
The 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows and unfurls on the nose to reveal notions of smoked meats, black truffles, licorice, and crushed rocks with a core of creme de cassis, blueberry preserves, candied violets, and cedar chest, plus an exotic waft of cumin seed. Medium to full-bodied, firm, and grainy, the palate has layer upon layer of tightly packed black fruits and earthy accents, finishing with epic length and a provocative spiciness.
I tasted the 2019 Ducru Beaucaillou four times in 12-hour intervals from opening. It has a splendid bouquet centered around black fruit laced with graphite, Montecristo cigars and hints of sage and cedar. This is one of the most Pauillac-like Ducrus that I have encountered at this stage. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannins, pitch perfect acidity and a sensual, satin-like texture that could seduce from miles away. There is a sense of completeness surrounding this Second Growth, charming you surfeit with nobility and outstanding in terms of persistence. Fabulous. 2026 - 2060
A very powerful Ducru with intense tannins and backbone, showing blue fruit, black tea and tobacco. Full-bodied with impressive structure and so much tannin. It goes on for minutes. Very traditional. Owner Bruno Borie said it is a wine to last forever and I have to agree. 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% merlot.
A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou is deep garnet-purple in color. It opens with a cedary overtones, needing a lot of swirling to reveal a powerful underlying core of blackcurrant jelly, black cherry compote, and chocolate box with touches of Indian spices and graphite. The medium to full-bodied palate has beautifully ripe tannins and bright, expressive blue and black fruits, finishing long and spicy. This stunning wine is built like a brick house and will need 7-10 more years in cellar to offer the extraordinay experience it promises.
This year the blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The alcohol weighed in at 14.2%, while the pH is 3.8 and the IPT is 88. It will mature for 18 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Opaque purple-black in color, the 2019 Ducru-Beaucaillou explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and plum preserves plus hints of candied violets, dark chocolate, licorice, wild fungi, crushed rocks and tilled soil with a touch of mossy bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly wound coil poised to spring out with layer upon layer of minerals, rich black fruits and floral notes, framed by very firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and electric freshness, finishing long and incredibly layered. WOW!
Inky depths to the concentrated ruby colour, the Cabernet Sauvignon imposes itself strongly from the first moment. No question that we are slap-bang in St Julien here, in the heart of this appellation's signature, with its elegance, balance and hidden power. At first the wine feels taut and austere, but performs the trick of changing as it travels through the palate, and by the end of play the texture is almost creamy, with blackberry, bilberry, black chocolate, cigar box, slate and liquorice. A big accomplishment, making this an unmissable Ducru. Drinking Window 2029 - 2045