- Nick's Import
2018 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou
As a relatively large estate in Saint-Julien, the 75 hectare Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou estate is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare. They also own a small parcel of land in Haut-Medoc.
Changes in the winery, and a greater focus on parcel selection for the Grand Vin has resulted in a reduction in output from around 20,000 cases per year in the 1980’s to around 10,000 cases today. And the wines have never looked better. The pair of 2009 and 2010, along with the 2016 are considered standouts for the region, intense and concentrated efforts that will live for many years to come.
Impenetrable inky black colour with an equally deep dark red black hue. Intense red to black currant and red liquorice aromas interplay with mulberry, vanillin cedar, dusty earth, tobacco, black olive, fresh herb and spice notes. Rich, powerful and finessed the medium bodied palate possesses magnificent length with a mix of red to black currant, liquorice and mulberry fruits in the drivers seat. Vanillin cedar, tobacco, dusty earth, black olive and spice elements lead into a very long and complex graphite edged finish that’s carried by refined tannins which lend the wine with superb structure. An exceptional expression of the Saint Julien terroir.
Cellar 10-15 years.
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.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate
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.
James Molesworth - Wine Spectator
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 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.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
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.