2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou Saint-Julien
The Collective Review
Ducru Beaucaillou is one of the oldest Bordeaux wine producing estates in the Medoc. A St-Julien property that today is one of the leading Super Seconds. Owned by the Borie family also own Chateau Grand Lacoste and Chateau Haut Batailley in Pauillac.
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is at the top of their game these days. The wines produced today offer intense concentration of flavors, ripe tannins, supple textures, purity of fruit, the structure to age and a unique sense of harmony, that is only found in the best Bordeaux wines.
For many, Ducru-Beaucaillou is the quintessential St-Julien - deep-coloured, powerful, ripe, exquisitely well-balanced and perfectly harmonious. It requires a minimum of 10 years of bottle ageing before it should be approached and the best vintages will continue improving for many more years.
Wine writer Jay McInerney wrote, 'Ducru has always been a wine of finesse rather than sheer brute power, a kind of Burgundian Bordeaux.'
Vintage 2018 was generous to the style of Ducru-Beaucaillou. The rich character of wines from this estate is enhanced by the ripeness and concentration of this wine. At the same time it keeps an amazing freshness that comes out of the acidity. This wine will go down in the annals of this historic estate. It is not likely to approach drinkability before 2028. Read more
Vintage 2018 was generous to the style of Ducru-Beaucaillou. The rich character of wines from this estate is enhanced by the ripeness and concentration of this wine. At the same time it keeps an amazing freshness that comes out of the acidity. This wine will go down in the annals of this historic estate. It is not likely to approach drinkability before 2028.
Aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants, new leather and bark follow through to a full body with a dense, deep palate that goes on and on, but is still shy and reserved. Large amount of ultra fine, cashmere-like tannins that are silky, sleek and wonderfully integrated. Extremely long and focused. Needs at least four to five years to start opening. A beautiful wine for the cellar. Try after 2027.
The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, 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. Deep purple-black colored, it has a powerful nose of baked black cherries, blackberry preserves and crème de cassis with nuances of menthol, pencil lead, cedar chest and Indian spices, plus fragrant wafts of violets and licorice emerging after a few minutes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with impactful black fruits and exotic spices layers, supported by firm, ripe grainy tannins and bags of freshness, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. There is a brightness to the wine—surprising freshness—and yet it remains very rich and hedonic, presenting an extraordinary vinous paradox that will blow away fans of this great estate.
The Grand Vin 2018 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou checks in as 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that was harvested at the end of September through October 10 and brought up all in new French oak. This is a gorgeous, incredibly complete, classic expression of this terroir, offering a heavenly nose of crème de cassis, cedarwood, unsmoked tobacco, new leather, spring flowers, chocolate, and a touch of chalky minerality. With full-bodied richness, a monster of a mid-palate, remarkable purity, and a great, great finish, it's one of the most concentrated, impressive wines of the vintage, and might also be one of the longest lived. It actually reminds me of an improved version of the 1996 or a hypothetical mix of the 2010 and 2016. For the tech geeks out there, the IPT checks in at a massive 95 and the pH is 3.7. 98+
Stunning concentration, power and finesse, with a ton of chocolate, charcoal, slate and liquorice, set against sweet blueberries, damson and cassis. This is silky and polished, with a ton of layers and complexity. With 18 months' ageing in 100% new oak, this has delivered on its en primeur potential, but still needs a good decade in bottle.
The 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou is surprisingly reticent at this stage, almost shockingly so. I imagine that won't be an issue in time. If anything, I am quite struck by the wine's energy and drive. Dark-fleshed fruit, spice, mint, lavender and new oak build in the glass. From barrel, the Ducru was opulent and sensual, but it appears to be going through a closed phase at the moment. Decanting helps, but I would not be in any rush to drink this. The 2018 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot aged for 18 months in 100% new French oak.
Compared to the Second Wine, the 2018 Ducru-Beaucaillou clearly displays more new oak on the nose, which is to be expected given that it was entirely aged in new wood. The bouquet is very intense, particularly after 3–4 hours of opening (like many 2018s), offering copious scents of blackberries, blueberry, mint and violet, all while maintaining excellent delineation and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins that render the texture velvety-smooth and polished. There is a surfeit of exceedingly pure black fruits laced with cedar and mint bound up in this Saint-Julien. The finish is serene but very persistent. This will be a seductive and sophisticated Ducru-Beaucaillou that deserves several years in bottle.
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. 17+/20 points.