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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
  • JS98
  • RP97
  • WS96
  • WE96
  • JD96
  • D96
  • TA95
1500ML / 0% ABV
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1500ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep, dark purple. A stunning and tight bouquet, very compact, which opens with airing to give a fine fruit with floral notes and a touch of violet. Later, after swirling, there is a touch of graphite. The palate is juicy, tasty, and supported by a fine freshness. A captivating wine; a lot of body, very high standard, remarkable length. A very academic construction.
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
Holy.... This is so powerful and dense with amazing depth of fruit and beautifully ripe tannins tannins. Full body, layers of fruit and tannins. It’s has a long finish but then kicks off at the end. Remains classic in style.
Barrel Sample: 97-98
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There was no frost at Ducru-Beaucaillou in 2017 due to its proximity to the estuary. This barrel sample comes from the final blend, which was made in early 2018. Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou is intensely scented of blackcurrant cordial, blackberries and lavender with hints of crushed rocks, iron ore, rose hips and Provence herbs plus touches of wood smoke and sandalwood. Medium-bodied, very firm and grainy in the mouth, it possesses lovely freshness, lifting the intense flavors, finishing long and minerally. Sporting an incredible core of muscular mid-palate fruit, this wine should age incredibly.
Barrel Sample: 95-97+
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This has a warm and inviting feel, with mocha, Christmas pudding and blackberry and plum compote aromas and flavors flowing through atop fleshy, velvety structure. There’s a graphite edge along with some alluring spice accents, and this stays polished and lengthy in the end.
Barrel Sample: 93-96
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
While this is a dense wine packed with tannins, they never threaten to overwhelm the fruit. The blackberry notes and swathes of ripe fruit give the wine its opulent, ripe and generous character. While the wine will certainly age, it is going to be drinkable relatively soon, certainly by 2024.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
Unquestionably one of the successes in the vintage is the 2017 Château Ducru Beaucaillou, which reminds me of the 2014, with perhaps a touch more oomph. As always, it’s a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend (90/10 Cabernet and Merlot) brought up in new barrels. Its vibrant purple color is followed by a terrific bouquet of crème de cassis, blueberries, violets, and exotic flowers. It has medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of mid-palate, and fine tannin as well as a great finish. It’s going to need 3-5 years of cellaring and keep for two decades. Count me in as a huge fan.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
D 96
Decanter
A little less intense and concentrated than the 2016, this focusses more on rich, smoky, finessed aromatics. The overall feel is gourmet and well textured, with some welcoming rich spice. A serious contender for the top St Julien in 2017, this has wonderfully fleshy blackberry fruits, a screech of graphite adding some mineral overtones, and a great dash of grilled oak. 7,500 cases of Ducru this year instead of 10,000 - they weren't affected by frost, but the Cabernets were just less generous this year, down to around 30hl/ha. This is accomplished winemaking, with great energy and poise. 100% new oak. 3.79pH.
Barrel Sample
TA 95
Tim Atkin
Incredibly dark purple black colour. Very intense aromas. Purple aromas. Spicy black fruit, coffee, clove and liquorice flavours. Very rich ripe tannins, no greenness. Good but not strong acidity. Balanced and approachable with raspberry compote fruit flavours, spices and great length. Very classic St Julien style.
Barrel Sample: 92-95
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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, France - Other regions
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Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is named after the beautiful, large stones found in its unique wine-growing terroir. This exceptional ecosystem produces fine, elegant, tasty wines with a long finish - in short, archetypical Saint-Julien wines.

Perched on an exceptional site with incomparable views over the Gironde estuary, in the center of a hundred-year-old park, Ducru-Beaucaillou is a majestic, Victorian-style castle, which has, over time, become one of the great symbols of the Médoc. Unusual for Bordeaux, it is built directly above the barrel cellars, enveloping its owners, who have lived here for over sixty years.

Today, the estate is managed by the company Jean Eugène Borie SA, which is owned by Mrs Borie, her daughter Sabine Coiffe and her son Bruno-Eugène, CEO since 2003, the third generation of the Borie family to head the estate. There are very close links between this estate and the five families who have been its successive owners.

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An icon of balance and tradition, St. Julien boasts the highest proportion of classed growths in the Médoc. What it lacks in any first growths, it makes up in the rest: five amazing second growth chateaux, two superb third growths and four well-reputed fourth growths. While the actual class rankings set in 1855 (first, second, and so on the fifth) today do not necessarily indicate a score of quality, the classification system is important to understand in the context of Bordeaux history. Today rivalry among the classed chateaux only serves to elevate the appellation overall.

One of its best historically, the estate of Leoville, was the largest in the Médoc in the 18th century, before it was divided into the three second growths known today as Chateau Léoville-Las-Cases, Léoville-Poyferré and Léoville-Barton. Located in the north section, these are stone’s throw from Chateau Latour in Pauillac and share much in common with that well-esteemed estate.

The relatively homogeneous gravelly and rocky top soil on top of clay-limestone subsoil is broken only by a narrow strip of bank on either side of the “jalle,” or stream, that bisects the zone and flows into the Gironde.

St. Julien wines are for those wanting subtlety, balance and consistency in their Bordeaux. Rewarding and persistent, the best among these Bordeaux Blends are full of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, tobacco and licorice. They are intense and complex and finish with fine, velvety tannins.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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