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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Magnum - slightly scuffed label) 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Ducru-Beaucaillou exhibits a beautiful robe of a profound violet color, firm to the rim. The nose is rich, with scents of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and redcurrant liqueur, and elegant nuances of roasted coffee. After a sweet and fleshy attack, the wine builds up in the mouth, revealing power and structure. It is akin to a Roman construction, all in roundness, but imposing. Particularly suave tannins buttress the persistent and powerful finish.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the stars of the vintage, and a remarkable achievement in 2008, with impressive richness, this dense purple colored wine is almost as opaque as the 2010. Spring flowers, crushed rocks, creme de cassis and some subtle oak are followed by a full-bodied, concentrated wine that transcends the vintage character in its power, richness, and aging potential. It also exhibits tremendous precision, purity, and depth of character. It is more forward than the 2010 is likely to be, but probably not as sumptuous as the 2009 will turn out to be. This is a wine to buy. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035.
Rating: 95+
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Chocolate, coffee and sweet plum notes give this wine great richness. It has wood that needs time to integrate, although the main character is beautiful, velvet-textured, ripe fruit and plenty of sweet tannins.
JS 94
James Suckling
Wow. This is really impressive for the vintage, with a solid core of raspberry, currants and spices. Full and round, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Superb winemaking for the vintage.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This is dark and brooding, with a tarry wall holding the black currant, melted licorice and espresso notes at bay for now. Extra roasted sage, cedar and briar push in on the finish, which showsan old-school hint. Rock-solid. Best from 2013 through 2021.
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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

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Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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Château 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.

St-Julien

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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.

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.

DOB121081_2008 Item# 121081